Swiss Jazz Orchestra & Guillermo Klein

Swiss Jazz Orchestra & Guillermo Klein
(Sunnyside)

Founded in Bern, Switzerland, during 2003, with a mission to perform new works by visiting artists and composers, the Swiss Jazz Orchestra and keyboardist Guillermo Klein seem to be ideally matched, their album the outgrowth of a steady and unique collaboration that spans continents and styles.

A frequent visitor to Bern, Argentine-born Klein wrote (or tailored) these pieces with the ensemble in mind, gleaning inspiration from the area, local landmarks and Albert Einstein, who was a resident of the city during the early 20th century. “Patent Office (Ibernia)” seems like a soundtrack to the scientist’s work environment, echoing the sounds of registering trademarks while a great mind worked overtime to develop the theory of relativity. “Inside Zytglogge” evokes the frenetic energy of the namesake clocktower, while “Zytglogge II” is a more somber take on the structure, perhaps owing to its history as a prison.

From the counter rhythms of “Córdoba” to the album’s closer, “Lepo,” which straddles Latin jazz and fusion sounds, the compositions across Swiss Jazz Orchestra & Guillermo Klein form a cohesive whole. In particular, the Copeland-esque ensemble piece “Hymn” demonstrates the ensemble’s vibrancy and its feel for Klein’s material, even though the tune’s beauty is in its particular brand of subtlety.