Reviews that mention Michel Wintsch

January 13, 2020

Michel Wintsch & Benoit Piccand

Wide Ear Records WER 038

Andrea Parkins & Matthew Ostrowski

Elective Affinities

Infrequent Seams 21

Phil Durrant & Bill Thompson


Burning Harpsichord BHR 003

Udo Schindler & Korhan Erel


Creative Sources CS 486 CD

Expanding within the community so it has become almost commonplace, one of the prevalent challenges for exploratory musicians in the 21st century is the integration of electronic and acoustic sounds. Without abandoning acoustic instruments completely as some have done, the tension engendered by craftily emphasizing both currents is exciting in itself, as these sessions prove. Since improvisation is involved though, each duo here shades the electro-acoustic divide somewhat different. The sessions by Americans Andrea Parkins and Matthew Ostrowski and UK-based Phil Durrant and Bill Thompson are the most committed to electronic expression, while the discs by Germans Udo Schindler and Korhan Erel and Michel Wintsch and Benoit Piccand from Switzerland emphasize acoustic qualities. MORE

June 6, 2016

The Who

Auricle Aur 14+15

Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus

The Distance

ECM 2484


Cosmopolitan Greetings

Red Piano RPR 4699-4419-2

Eric Platz

Life After Life

Allos Documents 012

Florian Hoefner


Origin Records 82706

Something In The Air: Those Who Teach Can Also Play

By Ken Waxman

As shibboleths go, the hoary “those who can do, those who can’t teach,” must rank at the very top of the list. Besides libelling the majority of educators who devote themselves to the task of imparting knowledge to students, it negates the activities of those who teach and do. Here are some musicians who maintain a full-time teaching carer along with consistent gigging. MORE

February 21, 2016

Marco von Orelli 5

Alluring Prospect
hatOLOGY 726

Downsizing obviously isn’t an expletive for Basel-based trumpeter Marco von Orelli since he keeps shrinking his band. Starting as a nine-piece, the ensemble first recorded as a sextet, is a quintet on this disc and is now operating as a trio with bassist Kasper von Grüningen and drummer Samuel Dühsler, both of whom acquit themselves admirably here. But like the hoary aphorism that asks “how much is too much” the intercommunication exhibited here suggests that four may work as well as three and perhaps better than five. MORE

April 26, 2013


Unit Records CD Nr. 4435

Ten years is a long time, but it’s been that protracted period since the exceptional Swiss-British improvising ensemble Whisperings has put out a CD. Luckily this session rectifies the situation, quickly proving that the quartet’s sympathetic interaction has only intensified over the years. On these four instant compositions British guitarist Fred Frith plus keyboardist Michel Wintsch, drummer Lionel Friedli and soundsinger/electronics manipulator Franziska Baumann – all Swiss – demonstrate a luminous intensity that unites suggestions of rock, jazz, improv, notated and electronic music into a satisfying whole. MORE

July 12, 2004


Experiencing Tosca
Winter & Winter 910 093-2

The Current Underneath
Leo CD LR 379

Two approaches to the standard jazz piano trio end up with vastly different results with only one making a major statement.

On THE CURRENT UNDERNEATH, Swiss pianist Michel Wintsch puts aside the sentimental streak that undermined earlier efforts with his Euro-American WHO Trio to create nine slices of thoughtful improvised music. Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and his two famous American sidemen in Tethered Moon, seems to have picked up all the indolent romanticism cast aside by Wintsch however, making EXPERIENCING TOSCA, a torpid and somewhat lugubrious exercise, more notable for lockstep methodology and top-flight recording sound than a range of emotions. MORE

September 16, 2002


Open Songs
Altrisuoni AS 108

RecRec Music CD 75 EFA 05179

Swiss pianist Michel Wintsch posses a streak of romanticism that’s a mile wide and just as deep. How else would you explain the inclusion on his trio session of tunes by chansonniers Jacques Brel, Gilbert Bécaud and other Continental sentimentalists?

Sure by the time he’s finished with a tune like Bécaud’s “Et Maintenant” -- which English-speakers know as “What Now My Love” -- he’s deconstructed it into a potent improv exercise. But many times at the beginning or middle of standards or his own lush compositions, he appears to be reigning in his emotions just before he stumbles into André Gagnon or Roger Williams territory. MORE

March 29, 2000


Road Movie (Between The Lines btl 002/EFA 10172-2)

Swiss composer/pianist Michel Wintsch writes for theatre, opera, radio and film as well as working as a jazzman. Thus it seems that this album -- which is a literal record of a performance in Berlin in 1998 -- owes as much to theatrical "program music" as it does to freer improvisation.

Commissioned by a German bank, this session, while certainly professional, and at times even affecting, often sounds more like the results of a grant application than a unified piece of music. Are the so-called "serious" flourishes in the string writing throughout and boffo rock-style finale there to show his backers just how much more versatile he is than the average jazz pianist, you wonder? Even the way the suite is structured shouts "showcase" rather than expression: There are 12 tunes here on a CD that runs less than 52 minutes, and eight of those are less than four minutes long. ROAD MOVIE is even described as "a movie soundtrack for 10 leading roles" in the notes, causing you to wonder about extra-musical considerations.