Reviews that mention Heinz Geisser

April 13, 2021

Ensemble 5

Leo Records CD LR 888

Amplifying its sonic reach while maintaining a commitment to profound improvisation, Zürich-based Ensemble 5’s newest CD boosts its creativity with contributions from Japanese violinist Naoki Kita. Recorded at a live Tokyo concert, Luminescence’s selections adapt the jangling sounds of the fiddler, who has worked with Barre Phillips and Roger Turner, to interactive layers incorporated by percussionist Heinz Geisser, pianist Reto Staub, bassist Fridolin Blumer and trombonist Robert Morgenthaler. MORE

February 3, 2020

Heinz Geisser Ensemble 5

The Collective Mind Vol. 2
Leo CD LR 858

John Yao’s Triceratops

How We Do

See Tao Recordings 003

Yves Robert/Bruno Chevillon/Cyril Atef


BMC CD 269

Consisting of improvisers from three individual countries, the quintet, quartet and trio programs featured here have two instruments in common and equally credible systems of aligning trombone and drum structures with other instruments. While tracks range from the lengthy to the terse, the sounds invoked depend on intuitive connections that don’t always gel. New York-based trombonist John Yao’s Triceratops is fully in the Jazz mainstream, with his compositions depending on blends among his horns the saxophones of Billy Drewes and Jon Irabagon, Peter Brendler’s bass and Mark Ferber’s drums. Broadened with electronic synthesis, the French trio of trombonist Yves Robert, electric bassist Bruno Chevillon and drummer Cyril Atef spreads its acoustic and progressed textures over the tunes on its CD. Meanwhile the all-Swiss Ensemble 5 – trombonist Robert Morgenthaler, pianist Reto Staub, bassist Fridolin Blumer and percussionist Heinz Geisser – weds its extended techniques to exclusively acoustic playing. MORE

January 1, 2019

Heinz Geisser + Guerino Mazzola

Live at Le Classique
pfMentum PFMCD 26

Shattering the shibboleth that the Swiss are quiet, unassuming rule followers, are pianist Guerino Mazzola and percussionist Heinz Geisser – as they have in tandem during the past two decades, Their two extended improvisations on Live at Le Classique bristle with energetic ferocity with much more flow than ebb. Mazzola, who is also an academic at the University of Minnesota, and Geisser, who in the past has been part of aggregations with the likes of William Parker, appear to create these motifs with complete absorption. Spiritual relatives of Cecil Taylor or Borah Bergman on the keyboard as well as Han Bennink or Andrew Cyrille on drums respectively, the only puzzle about this enterprising performance from the two is why it took so many years from when it was recorded in a Japanese club in 2004 to release it on CD. MORE

June 20, 2005

Heinz Geisser/Guerino Mazzola Quartet

Black Saint

Heinz Geisser/Guerino Mazzola

By Ken Waxman
June 20, 2005

Switzerland has never had an overabundance of jazz musicians, let alone outright Free Jazz players. Also, because of the cantons proximity to larger countries nearby and similarity in names, those not familiar with individual musicians might think certain Swiss players are respectively German, French or Italian.

So how do you account for an iconoclast like pianist Guerino Mazzola? Now 57, he’s combined an academic career – having published 13 books and over 90 papers in the fields of math, topology, brain-research and computer-music – with uncompromising Free playing. Often unfairly compared with Cecil Taylor – as it seems are all pianists more advanced than beboppers – his touch is nimbler and his concepts often more cerebral than the American. With references to Bill Evans and McCoy Tyner in his improvising, Mazzola, who once described Irène Schweizer, his country’s best-known avant-jazz pianist as “a nice bebop player”, has steadfastly followed his own path since 1980. MORE

May 30, 2005


Moving along
Leo CD LR 418

Collective still as far as leadership is involved, this Swiss-American foursome seems to be MOVING ALONG on its newest CD with increased prominence for the trombonist and pianist.

Not that the role of the bassist and percussionist is reduced to that of accompaniment. When the 4tet features one of the most cohesive rhythm sections on either side of the Atlantic – Zürich-based percussionist Heinz Geisser, who works with Swiss pianist Guerino Mazzola and New York bassist William Parker, who plays with literally everyone – that’s impossible. But the two longer of the three lengthy tracks here appear more like a trombone-piano dialogue than other entries by this quartet. MORE

January 12, 2004


Fractured Dimensions
FMP CD 122

Leo LR 380

Change one man and you change the music, is an old -- and pre-feminist -- Free Music axiom. The converse is true as well, of course. Maintain a consistent combo line up and the sounds become that much more profound, since each player knows exactly what he can count on from the others.

Validating both sides of the equation are the quartets on these two CDs, each coincidentally featuring bassist William Parker. FRACTURED DIMENSIONS, whose title might reflect the recording circumstances, shows what happens when three members of a regularly constituted band -- Other Dimensions in Music (ODM) -- are forced by circumstance to play with someone else at the last minute. More than 78 minutes of music resulted from Alan Silva’s piano and synthesizer tones being grafted onto the sounds perfected by Parker, brassman Roy Campbell and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter in a Berlin concert in 1998 when ODM’s drummer was a no show. MORE

December 23, 2002


Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1150

Grafting another voice onto an established aggregation can either be a recipe for disaster or the spice needed to make the resulting concoction even taster. This CD of new collaborations between Swiss saxophonist Mathias Rissi and the duo of his countrymen pianist Guerino Mazzola and percussionist Heinz Geisser is unequivocally an example of the later.

Not that Mazzola and Geisser have been standoffish in the past. The two, who first began working together in 1994 and have concertized on their own in Korea, Japan and Mexico have recorded with such Americans as guitarist Scott Fields, violist Mat Maneri and saxophonist Rob Brown. Geisser was a member of the Collective 4tet with bassist William Parker, and both men played in a 16-piece big band under Rissi’s leadership. MORE