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CD LR 300

CD LR 300 - LEO RECORDS

Michel Wintsch, Banz Oester, Gerry Hemingway 

Sharing the Thirst

Release date: 2000/10

Single CD (audio): GBP 10.00
listen CD_LR_300
Michel Wintsch: piano, Gerry Hemingway: drums, Bänz Oester: bass, Marie Schwab: alto, Nathalie Saudan: violon
1.Gentian's edginess 4'26
2.Painter Mikaïlov 5'01
3.Edelweiss edema 5'46
4.Alone, but in the field 4'44
5.Sharing the thirst 11'11
6.Belly of nothingness 3'29
7.Two streets 2'43
8.Drowning tree 4'24
9.Yesterday's bowel 1'42
10 Overlaped haze 3'56
11.Quixotic
12.I love to feel the oddity of the world 9'27
Total time DDD 61'25

Recording: Christian Guggebhül & Benoît Corboz, Studio du Flon Mixing, editing, mastering: Michel Wintsch

Liner Notes

( Collapse liner notes )

Michel Wintsch, Bnz Oester and Gerry Hemingway have been musical buddies for years, with a trio album (Identity CD LR 282) and many a gig to their credit. They have shared the dingy hotel rooms and brightly lit stages, the white nights and electric evenings, the ovations that make up for the interminable hours on the road, and the inescapable minor mishaps that pepper a jazz musician's life. Their music and their lives are guided by one desire, one quest, one thrill, one fundamental choice: eclecticism, informal expression, improvisation.
   Back in Switzerland in May 2000, after a tour that took them through Belgium, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, Michel, Bnz and Gerry organized a recording session in the du Flon studio in Lausanne. The idea was to conjure echoes of the imaginary. What they played was completely different from their tour repertoire. Yet the fatigue they had accumulated during the past weeks, the happiness of having played together, the musical entente that links them - all these came together in breath-taking musical sequences, in which their feelings and energies converged and fused to create instants of superb grace. Then this journey too came to an end, and each pursued his own itinerary.
   Michel remained alone, with the tapes. What to do? The recordings had opened up new vistas. How could he approach them without jeopardizing the intangible, the almost magic balance that permeated their improvisations and gave them their peculiar quality? Would he dare use the fruit of their joint efforts and shared emotions as raw material to be processed?
   The pianist made way for the composer, the alchemist, the wizard. Michel threw himself into his work. With the precision of a tightrope walker, he mixed, remixed, digitalized, cut, blended, rearranged and composed. He suffered and rejoiced. He doubted intensely, and believed with equal intensity, always attentive to the slightest tremor his every move might set off. Great waves of enthusiasm and confidence alternated with soul searching and a sore head. Yet in this storm of notes and electronics, Michel successfully tamed the elements, kept his bearings straight, and split the waves without ever being blown off course by the winds that swept him along. Without ever abandoning his goal: to take the slightest musical impulse, and the most overwhelming one, and make them his own. His music. Music composed and shaped by him.
   At the end of the summer, Gerry came with his family for a well-earned vacation. What a get-together and what an occasion for Gerry and Bnz to reassert their friendship and trust in Michel's gift for bringing it all back home. The title of their album came to them of its own accord, during a harrowing mountain hike on a blast furnace of a day, when they ran out of water. There it was: " Sharing the thirst ". Sharing the thirst. Thirst for life, thirst for love. Thirst for adventure and serendipity.
   Now other musicians came to break the solitude that is the composer's lot. And not just any musicians either. There came a long time musical partner, violinist Nathalie Saudan (Stalker Blue UTR 4115 CD), and viola player Marie Schwab. Both had played with the trio previously. Two years earlier the five of them had formed a brilliant quintet during a session in the studio, recording some of the music that would be used now. Since then it had lain dormant, like a seed waiting for the warmth of spring.
   New recordings by Nathalie and Marie followed,directed by Michel: scores of great complexity alternating with long moments of improvisation. The intuitive and feminine pleasure they took in playing fired Michel with a new burst of energy.
   He went back to work. Fused the trio and the strings. Coupled the fresh impetus of the improvised spontaneous pieces with the dreamlike meanderings of the compositions. Threw himself into the texture of sounds, the colors of the notes, the dancing rhythms. Investigated how they come together and click, and the ways they have of contradicting each other or swinging along side by side. More work - listening, hearing, repeating, fine-tuning, adding, editing. Then starting all over again. And producing a miracle in the end. A metamorphosis.
   With " Sharing the Thirst ", Michel Wintsch offers us a breath-taking album, in which the spirit of the compositions and their airy complexity enhance the passion and sensitivity of the improvised pieces. He gives us truly unheard of music - modern folk, acoustic and electronic. The music of an undiscovered people, compelled to live in freedom at the border where all cultures meet. Living under the watchful and benevolent eye of the greats: Braxton and Monk, Bartok and Ligeti. And Miles and Hendrix, whom one can hear laughing for sheer joy in the silence between the tracks.

Jean-Marc Pasquet (transl.: Zosia Rozankowska)

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