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INNER LANGUAGE TRIO
Christoph Stiefel (piano), Thomas Lähns (double bass), Lionel Friedli (drums), Kevin Chesham (drums)*
“With wonderful clarity and precision their music combines lyricism, poetry and whirling grooves. Certainly one of the best piano trios in Switzerland!”
Fribourg - La Liberté
Label: Basho Records |Release Date: 1st October 2012 | Cat no: SRCD 39-2 | Barcode: 832929003929
1 Isorhythm #4
2 Inner Language/Isorhythm #19
3 Isorhythm #2.2 (*)
4 New Waltz For Nina
5 Olympus Mons/Isorhythm #28
6 Eliane (*)
7 Pensar Positivo/Isorhythm #18
9 In & Out Of Order/Isorhythm #15
All compositions by Christoph Stiefel, published by Pangani Music.
Basho Records is delighted to announce the release of ‘Live!’, the first UK album from top Swiss pianist Christoph Stiefel’s Inner Language Trio, on 1st October. It is the first time Basho has released music from an all-European ensemble.
A chance encounter between Christoph and Basho’s Christine Allen at Jazz Ahead involved a discussion about Isorhythms, a compositional concept from the middle ages (where the melodic and accompanying parts do not have to follow each other) that underpins Stiefel’s music. Christine asked if any other musicians worked with similar ideas. Christoph responded that ‘there is another piano player in the UK who also sometimes works with interesting rhythmic modulations - I don’t know if you’ve heard of him? He’s called Gwilym Simcock’. Basho of course know Gwilym really well! This fortuitous meeting resulted in Basho launching Stiefel’s Inner Language Trio in the UK.
‘Live!’ captures the trio (with bassist Thomas Lähns and drummers Lionel Friedli and Kevin Chesham) liberated from the restrictions of the studio in Saalfelden, Amburg and Munchen. Stiefel feels that this collection contains ‘rhythmic complexity but also soul and sensitivity. There is also quite a portion of wildness.’ The album summarises and develops eight years of work with the trio and finds the musicians reaching remarkable levels of empathy and interaction.
A sensitive touch and reflective mood characterises Stiefel’s work here, most notably the haunting title track. Sometimes, particularly on Olympus Mons, the approach is more tempestuous. Stiefel never allows sophisticated concepts such as Isorhythms to detract from the music itself, writing striking melodies and affecting harmonic sequences for which his rhythmic ideas serve as support or contrast. In addition to the angular groove of Isorhythm #2.2, there is the eloquent lyricism of New Waltz For Nina. Stiefel’s first musical interests were in blues and R&B and he draws inspiration from both within and beyond the jazz tradition.
This music is a thrilling first chapter in Stiefel’s relationship with UK audiences and an exciting advance in forging connections between the UK jazz scene and European artists. Stiefel will tour in the UK with German bassist Arne Huber and Kevin Chesham (drums): 9th October – Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, 10th October – Zeffirelli’s, Ambleside, 11th October – Newcastle Lit & Phil, 12th October – Flavel, Dartmouth. The larger ensemble Isorhythm Orchestra will appear at the London Jazz Festival in November.