By Denise Sullivan | Published August 2019
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.
Swiss Jazz Orchestra & Guillermo Klein: Córdoba; Riqueza Abandonada; Agua (Para Mantener); Manuel; Paredón; Patent Office (Ibernia); Machine & Emile; … A Los Enemigos Del Sol; Es Infinita; Inside Zytglogge; Zytglogge II; Hymn; Lepo. (68:04)
Personnel: Guillermo Klein, Fender Rhodes; Adrian Pflugshaupt, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Reto Suhner, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute; Cédric Gschwind, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute; Jürg Bucher, tenor saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Matthias Tschopp, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Dave Blaser, Johannes Walter, Lukas Thoeni, Thomas Knuchel, trumpet, flugelhorn; Vincent Lachat, Stefan Schlegel, Andreas Tschopp, trombone; Jan Schreiner, tuba; Samuel Leipold, guitar; Philip Henzi, piano; Lorenz Beyeler, bass; Rico Baumann, drums.