The Squid's Ear Magazine


Irniger, Christoph Pilgrim: Ghost Cat (Intakt)

Zurich tenor saxophonist & composer Christoph Irniger in his fourth album on the Intakt label with his creative and cooperative band Pilgrim of Stefan Aeby on piano, Dave Gisler on guitar, Raffaele Bossard on bass and Michael Stulz on drums, performing Irninger's lyrical and thoughtful compositions, along with one from bassist Raffaele Bossard.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Christoph Irniger-tenor saxophone

Stefan Aeby-piano

Dave Gisler-guitar

Raffaele Bossard-bass

Michael Stulz-drums


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UPC: 7640120193966

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK396.2
Squidco Product Code: 32948

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Recorded at Radio RSI, in Lugano-Besso, Switzerland, on April 8th and 9th, 2022, by Lara Persia.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"The quintet of Zurich tenor saxophonist Christoph Irniger presents it's fifth album on Intakt Records on the occasion of the band's 10th anniversary. Over the years, the band has created a distinct ensemble identity and has matured into one of the most exciting ensembles of young European jazz. As a well-rehearsed unit, the band on Ghost Cat fulfills all the expectations that are nowadays placed on modern and innovative jazz based on an internal band democracy.

"There is both clarity and maturity in the improvisational process plus a greater awareness of what each other is doing - at both an interpersonal level and how everyone fits into the overall architecture of the performance. Each player clearly understands the material at hand and constructs their improvisation around the mood of the composition and the collective endeavour, rather than launching out on their own personal muse", writes Stuart Nicholson in the liner notes.'-Intakt



"Zurich-based saxophonist and composer Christoph Irniger has been carving out a niche in the fertile European jazz scene. His project Pilgrim is a refined jazz quintet where harmonic structures can have a positively strange effect on the listener. Celebrating their 10th anniversary is Ghost Cat, the group's fifth recording that includes six compositions, all but one by Irniger.

The phlegmatic pragmatism of "Marvel" strikes up an instant connection from the very beginning. It's stratified from the ground up with cymbal insistence, sparse piano chords colored with rewarding extensions, and reflective saxophone sentiment. Bass and guitar arrive at a later phase, reinforcing the brittle texture with a very musical purpose.

"Seven Down Eight Up" is a freakish excursion in its extraordinary rich. Pianist Stefan Aeby claims the spotlight, culling ideas from Monk, Jarrett, and Mengelberg. He develops and integrates them according to his own whim. The music, spiked up by Dave Gisler's distorted guitarism, acquires a staggering rhythm, and one can appreciate Irniger's considerations over half-muted bass rumbles, temperate guitar feedback and painterly drum work.

Irniger and Gisler profess the melody together on "Ghost Cat" and "Walking with Dinosaurs". An enigmatic guitar solo over an out-of-the-ordinary bass accompaniment and coruscating drumming smears the former piece, whereas the latter, terminating the proceedings, has an excellent if challenging bass groove locked in with the drums. This leaves the saxophone, the guitar and the piano free to create and communicate. Before that, the 13-minute long "Calling Spirits" call our attention, especially when the soloists hone their phrases with dominant power and admirable conviction.

Not being your ordinary composer, Irniger stands firm in his post-bop ventures, leading this project with authenticity and dedication."-Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail


Get additional information at Jazz Trail

Artist Biographies

"Christoph Irniger, born 1979, is a Swiss saxophonist, composer and bandleader. According to the Sunday edition of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung he is "undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of his generation." In recent years, Irniger has made a name for himself in a range of line-ups, playing jazz, rock and related musical styles. As a musician from a generation which likes to work on multiple projects in eclectic styles, he leads a range of outfits, all distinct and surprising musically. The Swiss magazine Jazz 'N' More writes: "He comes up with something new each time by leaving the beaten tracks of sound. He doesn't just look briefly left and right; he fights his way into the thicket." An instrumentalist with a firm education, and a composer with an artistic vision, he consistently generates new ideas, realised thanks to a passion for music. German magazine Jazzthetik says: "People who know about jazz will confirm that he is one of the most promising musicians in contemporary Swiss jazz."

Irniger is leader of the band Pilgrim (with Dave Gisler, Stefan Aeby, Raffaele Bossard and Michael Stulz) and the Christoph Irniger Trio (with Raffaele Bossard and Ziv Ravitz), which between them have released four albums so far: two by the Trio, Gowanus Canal (Intakt Records 2013) and Octopus (Intakt Records, 2015) and two from Pilgrim, Mt. Tongariro (Between The Lines, 2011) and Italian Circus Story (Intakt Records, 2014). The latter featured in three best album lists of 2014, including Cadence Magazine (USA). Jazzwise (UK) described them as "a homegrown rising young sax star's quintet!" Irniger's debut recording Chat Noir was released in 2008 on Brambus Records.

Irniger loves jazz, and his playing is strongly rooted in this tradition, influenced by its various exponents. He does not see jazz as representing a particular sound or content, however, but as a way of making music. He says, "to me jazz is that music which always processes the music of its time. It's more about how you play than what you play." He gets ideas from every style of music, and from life itself; in this sense, the main inspirations are his home, Lake Zurich, the mountains, his family, people, travelling (above all New York) and a range of other art-forms. They give him the themes and feed his passion for music, and Irniger places melody above everything else. Even in dense, complex passages, or within free jazz playing, he seeks out the moment, and tries to give the various instruments' melodic lines equal weight. The journalist Peter Haffner writes of his compositions, "the pieces are tone poems, which show that catchy melodies and complex soundscapes need not be mutually exclusive, in fact they each need the other to come to fruition."

His regular visits to Berlin and New York have led to a number of diverse collaborations, including: Nasheet Waits (No Reduce Jaywalkin' (nWog, 2013)), Don Philippe, and the band Counterpoints with Ohad Talmor, Bänz Oester and Vinnie Sperrazza. He has also played with Dave Douglas, Chris Lightcap, Dan Weiss, Nils Wogram, Claudio Puntin, Max Frankl, Stefan Rusconi, Mats Spillmann, Christian Weber, Chris Wiesendanger and Vera Kappeler. He was a member of the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra for seven years and can be heard on four of their recordings. He is also co-leader of the prog-rock band Cowboys from Hell.

From 2000 to 2006 Irniger studied music education at the Zurich Jazz School, and performance at the Lucerne School of Music with Christoph Grab and Nat Su. In the following years he took lessons from Dave Liebman, Mark Turner and Ari Hoenig. He won the Friedel Wald Foundation development award in 2004, received the Borsa di Studio for Siena Jazz University in 2006 and achieved third place in the 2010 ZKB Jazz Prize with the Cowboys from Hell. Between 2015 and 2017 his band Pilgrim were awarded high priority act from Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council. His work has been documented on twenty albums to date, five under his own name. He has played concerts and tours throughout Europe, Asia and the USA.

Christoph Irniger initiated the concert series Jazz im Seefeld and was co-founder of the Jazzwerkstatt Zürich festival. He is also part of the programming team for the Unerhört! Festival and teaches at Zurich University of the Arts and the Musikschule Konservatorium in Zurich."

-Christoph Irniger Website (https://www.christophirniger.com/en/bio/?_wb=en/bio/&lang=EN)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"piano / rhodes / composition

born / né / geboren: 1979

some lessons with /quelques cours avec / einige lektionen bei: jean christophe cholet, marc copland, patrick müller, don friedman, art lande.

master of arts in: art history and musicology / histoire de l'art et musicologie / kunstgeschichte und musikwissenschaft

plays or played with / joue ou a joué avec / spielt oder spielte mit: Frank Tortiller, Gabriele Mirabassi, Rory Stuart, Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Claudio Puntin, Clarence Penn, David Pouradier Duteil, Yves Torchinsky, Bänz Oester, Samuel Rohrer, Lisette Spinnler, Claudio Pontiggia, Marcel Papaux, Samuel Blaser, Popol Lavanchy, Gustav, Julien Charlet, Rick Margitza, Patrice Moret, Stéphane Belmondo, Oscar D'Leon, Tom Harrell...

sideman for / membre des groupes / sideman bei: christoph irniger's pilgrim, lisette spinnler 4, sarah büechi shadow garden...

teaching at / enseigne à / unterrichtet in: hemu lausanne / conservatoire de fribourg

touring in / en tournée en / auf tour in: germany, france, ireland, switzerland, holland, belgium, poland, italy, austria, bulgaria, japan, south corea, china, malaysia, senegal, argentina, chile, uruguay, venezuela, haiti...

actually playing with / joue actuellement avec / spielt aktuell mit:

stefan aeby trio (feat stefan aeby, andré pousaz, michi stulz)christoph irnigers pilgrim (feat christoph irniger, dave gisler, raffaele bossard, michi stulz)sarah buechi shadow garden (feat sarah buechi, andré pousaz, lionel friedli)lisette spinnler 4 (feat. lisette spinnler, patrice moret, michi stulz)"

-Stefan Aeby Website (http://www.stefanaeby.com/bio)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Dave Gisler (b 1983 Switzerland) is a jazz guitarist, ans has led or been a member of the groups Christoph Irniger Pilgrim, Dave Gisler Trio, Dave Gisler's Shizzle, Gregor Frei ASMIN, Gregor Frei Asmin Sextet, Lucerne Jazz Orchestra, Markus Lauterburg Mumur, No Flores, Notebook Large Ensemble, Pilgrim, Raffaele Bossard's Junction Box, Sonar Ensemble, Weird Beard.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/1999162-Dave-Gisler)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Raffaele Bossard (* 1982 in Los Angeles ) is a Swiss jazz musician ( double bass ).

Bossard, who grew up in Zug, had first piano lessons, then switch to electric bass. From 1999 to 2001 he received lessons on the double bass with Bobby Burri at the music school Zug, to then complete the preliminary course at the Jazz School Lucerne, where he studied from 2003 to 2008 with Heiri Känzig, Patrice Moret and Peter Frei. In addition, he took in New York hours with Ron Carter. He leads his own quartet Junction Box, with whom he introduced in 2012 his debut album Adumbration. [1]

Bossard belongs since 2008 to Mats-Up, the band of Matthias Spillmann, and to the band of Joe Haider. Since 2011 he plays in the quartet of Matthias Tschopp and in the collective NoReduce, and since 2013 he belongs to Christoph Irniger's Pilgrim, with whom he also plays in the trio. He can also be heard on albums by Jochen Baldes, Dominic Egli, Gregor Frei, Matthias Tschopp, the Sonar Ensemble and the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra. He also worked with Feya Faku, Ohad Talmor, Jeff Davis, Joey Baron, Nasheet Waits, Ziv Ravitz, Dave Douglas, Nils Wogram, Nat Su, Andy Scherrer, Glenn Ferris, Bert Joris, Johannes Enders, Sandy Patton, Claus Reichstaller, Roberto Bossard, Christian Münchinger, Chris Wiesendanger, Elmar Frey, Claudio Puntin, Domenic Landolf, Jean Paul Brodbeck and VEIN.

Bossard was the winner of the 2013 Moods Blues and Jazz Award with Mats-Up; In the following year he received the ZKB Jazzpreis with the Matthias Tschopp Quartet. With the band of Florian Egli and Gileno Santana he was in the same year winner in Transnational Be-Jazz."

-Wikipedia (Translated by Google) (https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raffaele_Bossard)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Michael Stulz is a Swiss jazz drummer, born in 1977. He is known for the groups Ayé, Christoph Irniger Pilgrim, Dave Gisler's Shizzle, H2S2, Hekiat, Humour's Humidity, Jochen Baldes Subnoder, Kapsamun, Luca Sisera Roofer, Pilgrim, r.i.s.s., and Straymonk.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/1999160-Michael-Stulz)
6/17/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Marvel 5:21

2. Seven Down Eight Up 9:04

3. Ghost Cat 5:48

4. Calling The Spirits 12:05

5. Four States Of Mind 5:19

6. Walking With Dinosaurs 5:33

Related Categories of Interest:

Intakt

Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Quintet Recordings
New in Improvised Music
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

Search for other titles on the label:
Intakt.


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