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«Same Place, Another Time»

Swiss master drummer Pierre Favre celebrated on the June 2nd his 85th birthday, and «Same Place, Another Time» is a beautiful birthday present to this gifted musician who has not released an album since 2015 («DrumSights», Intakt, 2015), radiating the wisdom of experience and joy of good company. Fellow Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser provides the necessary good company, and both Favre and Blaser are from the same place, the same part of Switzerland, but, obviously, born at different times. Blaser was born 44 years after Favre, but it is clear that both enjoy the company of each other. They toured together in China, the United States and all over Europe and «Same Place, Another Time» is their second duo album, following «Vol À Voile» (Intakt, 2010). The album was recorded at Klein Theater in Luzernin in October 2018 and released on Blaser’s label as vinyl or a digital download (with two bonus pieces).

As writer Bill Meyer notes in his liner notes, the spirit of good humor, as well as the personal and musical bond that Favre and Blaser have forged, pervades «Same Place, Another Time». both Favre and Blaser are well-versed in the legacy of jazz but neither feels bound only to it. Favre opened himself to a world of rhythms to fashion his Singing Drums music, and Blaser has found inspiration in opera, rock steady, and the blues. Both collaborated with some of the most innovative, free-minded improvisers. Favre belongs to the first generation of European free improvisers and played with Don Cherry, Albert Mangelsdorff, Irène Schweizer, and Peter Brötzmann, and Blaser with Daniel Humair, Gerry Hemingway, and Paul Motian.

And like good friends, Favre and Blaser converse with earth other, trading stories and secrets, and share common memories throughout textual free improvisations. Favre playing is masterful and he can articulate a melody using only cymbals and a few strokes on the drums. But he still insists on a swinging touch even on the most open improvisations (check «Daily Journal» or the bluesy «La danse des ours»), and often creates a drama with shifting rhythmic patterns (check «Roosters»). And Favre cleverly anchors Blaser’s adventurous, singing flights in playful dynamics with his poetic, minimalist touches, especially on the two standards, Thelonious Monk’s «Round Midnight» and the most beautiful version of Duke Ellington’s «Mood Indigo».

Eyal Hareuveni 

Pierre Favre (dr), Samuel Blaser (tb)

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