Marco von Orelli / Max E. Keller / Sheldon Sutter – Blow, Strike and Touch

by franpisunship – 30 août 2017

HatHut est un chat. Un label habile, qui retombe sur ses pattes et se moque de la gravité, mais qui surtout semble avoir neuf vies, et peut être quelques supplémentaires, avec des cœurs flambants neufs mais une enveloppe corporelle qui semble pour le moment être la même.
Longtemps, on l’a donné pour mort, et puis autour des quarante ans d’existence, ce fut comme un ultime sursaut.
Un dernier souffle ? A croire que non, puisqu’après une nouvelle pose, le label revit, relancé par Outhere qui semble vouloir faire plus qu’exploiter l’imposant back catalogue de la légende suisse à tranche orange. La preuve ? Les nouvelles sorties se multiplient, de Christoph Erb, dont nous parlerons très prochainement sur Citizen Jazz à ce présent disque du trompettiste Marco von Orelli auquel le label est depuis longtemps fidèle. Et tant pis s’il a été enregistré en 2014 et qu’entre-deux von Orelli ait enregistré un disque sur le même label avec son Marco von Orelli 5.
Blow, Strike and Touch, qui traduit à merveille le propos du présent trio fait parti de ses disques de l’instant qui peuvent donc se permettre le luxe de l’intemporel, à base de souffle, de frappe et d’effleurement.
Le trio suisse est un attelage nouveau, mais presque naturel : Marco von Orelli use depuis longtemps ses embouchures sur les chemins tortueux de la composition collective instantanée. Il est régulièrement accompagné du batteur Sheldon Suter, qu’on retrouvait déjà dans l’excellent Big Bold Back Bone à l’énergie parsemée d’électricité. « Jagdhund » (chien de chasse en allemand) le traduit à merveille, avec cette course folle et désordonnée de la batterie qui poursuit tout de même un but obsessionnel et patauge dans tous les marais, même les plus saumâtres, à la recherche des souffles étouffés de la trompette, versatile en diable.
Il a beau chercher, et souvent trouver, même pour quelques secondes, on comprend vite que tout ceci est pour le jeu, car les deux improvisateurs ce connaissent très bien, et depuis l’enfance, environnement propice à toutes les libertés.
L’autre complice est un pianiste, qui est un des multiples oubliés de ce panorama. Pourtant, il est, dit-on, un des premiers suisses à s’être réclamé du Free Jazz.
On a pu l’entendre avec Urs Leimgruber ou encore Hans Hassler. Son approche très marqué par le classique contemporain du XXe siècle fait merveille dans les Miniatures proposées par le trio.
Il ne s’agit pas seulement de « Miniatur #1 », où du silence transparaît quelques accords lointain avant que la trompette n’emplisse l’espace de tout son relief, mais surtout de « Miniatur #3 » qui précède « Jagdhund » où en à peine une minute, quelques frôlements des entrailles du piano livrent des informations sur les feulements à venir, qu’on retrouvera aussi sur l’intense « Nacht Schichten » où Keller vient se mêler aux remous qui n’ont absolument rien d’un tendre clapotis.
C’était déjà le cas pour Big Bold Back Bone, et sans doute plus encore ici, alors que les instruments sans électricités ne semblent constitués que de fluides organiques, mais la musique de von Orelli fait souvent songer à Kaze. Une musique où percole les particules élémentaires dispersées au gré des vents hostiles et des canicules soudaines que cette musique brute harmonise par la simple chimie.


August 2017, by Derek Stone

How does one come to appreciate, let alone enjoy, a new genre of music? Despite the cries that ring out from some musical essentialists, it is my belief that the enjoyment of new, as yet un-grappled-with types of expression can be developed. As many of the writers and perusers of this site will tell you, a love of free jazz didn’t just spring out of the soil one happy day – it took considerable time and effort, an investment of interest and a willingness to occasionally put oneself at the mercy of tones, timbres and textures that were often downright ugly. But soon, the effort paid off; familiarity helped round the edges, so to speak, and the oblique, forbidding architecture that makes up so much of free jazz began to slope and curl its way into shapes that could arrest us, captivate us, leave us foaming at the mouth in anticipation of more. The critical viewpoint played its role as well. While much of free jazz is seemingly senseless on first listen, the astute observations of many a free jazz critic were instrumental in giving us a foothold, so to speak – by fixing a grid atop the swirling chaos, we suddenly had some coordinates with which to find our place. The development of enjoyment doesn’t just move in one direction, either; doubtlessly, some of our readership started with the strong stuff, imbibing Sun Ra, Coleman, or late-period Coltrane before eventually working their way back through the ‘60s and ‘50s to arrive, like battle-hardened generals returning to the scene of the first fight, at the earliest jazz recordings of the ‘30s and ‘40s. And, once again, enjoyment didn’t just spring up. After a diet of fiery, intense free improvisation, the bouncing sounds of Duke Ellington and His Orchestra are like another planet, with all of the dread and uncertainty that that implies.

The reason I make this preamble is that I, personally, have not yet found a good entry-point into electro-acoustic improvisation (often simply called EAI). While I’ve been exposed to a fair number of the genre’s respresentative recordings, there has been nothing to grab me and give me that “aha!” moment – that split second when everything falls into place and the sounds begin, little by little, to open up and make themselves known. Big Bold Back Bone’s debut on Clean Feed, In Search of the Emerging Species, while not explicitly an EAI record, has enough stylistic overlap with the genre to have been a cause for concern for me – would I have anything meaningful to say about it? Would it just be wind in my ear? In any case, I decided that the path to enjoyment had to start somewhere, and it may as well start here.

A quartet, Big Bold Back Bone features Marco von Orelli on trumpet and slide trumpet, Sheldon Suter on prepared drums, Luis Lopes on electric guitar and other objects, and Travassos on electronics. One thing to note when going into this recording, however, is that Big Bold Back Bone approach their instruments in the same way that I once heard Derek Bailey approached his guitar – as an alien artifact, a found object without context or connotation, a tool with which one could experiment freely. As such, the focus here is not on making “music” in the traditional sense of the word, but on exploring the sounds that can be constructed when a certain group of people come together at a certain time, in a certain room, with certain instruments and objects at their disposal. As the title suggests, In Search of the Exploring Species is an investigation of possibilities, a circuitous trek, rather than a direct route to some predetermined destination.

At an unbroken 43 minutes, it might be feared that the sole piece here, “Immerge,” is a slog to get through, but that’s not true at all. If anything, because of the lightness (volume-wise) of the textures and the relative lack of structured movement, it seems to speed by. It opens with a tentative series of knocks from Suter’s kit, some hard-to-pinpoint rubbery scrapes, von Orelli’s metallic gurgles, and the softly roiling static of Lopes’s electric guitar. Meanwhile, Travassos provides some high-pitched tones that, due to their relative faintness, fall somewhere between bird-song and the whine of drills. From this initial setting, deviations seem to occur in imperceptible waves – notably, von Orelli treats his trumpet as an open canvas of sorts, extracting all manner of timbres from its body: hollow sussurations, watery burbles, dry crackles. At some point, Suter moves from the more forceful pops and taps of the opening to cymbal-work that casts an uneasy shadow over the entire piece, and Travassos follows suit with cavernous electronics that open up the bottom and threaten to submerge everything. Lopes is ever-subtle, preferring to use his guitar as a textural device – from staticky drones to unsteady scrapes, he’s continuously in service of the overall tone of the piece. In fact, one of my abiding impressions of “Immerge” is that no single player seems to dominate the proceedings; in the spirit of the best free improvisation, the individual sounds bleed into each other, mixing and melding in ways that help to elevate the whole. Interestingly, the final ten minutes of the track find some of the musicians getting close to something that might be called “traditional music-making.” Lopes produces open notes that ring out with astounding clarity after the muffled drones of the preceding half-hour, and von Orelli emits a series of, well, trumpet-like tones. Suter engages in glacial, abstract percussion-work, and Travassos murmurs quietly in the background, a constant presence that never makes itself unduly felt.

By the time “Immerge” comes to a close, I feel that I have gotten ever closer to understanding the world of electro-acoustic improvisation – if I’m not yet putting every release from the Erstwhile label in my Discogs shopping cart, I’m at least considering the possibility. At a brisk 43 minutes, and with a variety of textures and sounds to keep your ears busy, In Search of the Exploring Species is a better place than any to get started on a new journey of musical enjoyment. And as a selfish addendum – feel free to post recommendations for more of this type of music in the comments below!

VonOrelli,Keller,Suter.hatOLOGY 732

By Shaking the Squid, May 23, 2017 – the Squid’s Ear

Swiss trumpeter Marco Von Orelli leads this trio with Max E. Keller on piano and Sheldon Suter on drums, heard live at JazzAmMittwoch, Theater an Gleis, in Winterthur, Switzerland in 2014 for a thoroughly modern jazz outing of creative and extended approaches to the trio’s instruments and approach to free jazz. If you haven’t heard Von Orelli play and you’re a fan of the most modern approaches to playing, as exemplified in musicians like Nate Wooley or Axel Dorner, you need to check this guy out, as his range and palette of approaches is both startling and compelling.

Jazz’n’More  (Mai/Juni Nr.3/2017)

JNM_03_2017_von Orelli

… Marco von Orelli, Max E. Keller, Sheldon Suter: Blow, Strike & Touch. Hatology 732.

Auf der Weltkarte des Jazz ist die Schweiz ein wichtiger Ort – nicht zuletzt, weil mehrere namhafte unabhängige Labels hier zu Hause sind. Eines von ihnen ist das 1975 von Werner X. Uehlinger gegründete, in Basel ansässige Unternehmen HatHut Records, das hauptsächlich im Bereich der freien Improvisation und der Avantgarde tätig ist…

Auch in diesem Frühjahr präsentiert das Label sowohl packende Neuerscheinungen als auch Klassiker der Moderne.

Zur HatHut-Familie zählt auch der immer noch junge Schweizer Trompeter Marco von Orelli. Der Basler hat schon mit seinem Debüt «Close Ties on Hidden Lanes» (2012) überzeugt. Auf seiner neuen CD präsentiert er sich im Trio mit dem Pianisten Max E. Keller und dem Schlagzeuger Sheldon Suter. Auch hier geht es um Improvisation, um ein Gespräch auf Augenhöhe. Aufgenommen wurde das Konzert am 2. April 2014 im Theater am Gleis in Winterthur. Fazit: Der Free Jazz lebt. Nicht zuletzt dank Werner X. Uehlinger. Chapeau! 

Manfred Papst, NZZ am Sonntag, 16.4.2017

Manfred Papst, NZZ am Sonntag, 16.4.2017

NZZ am Sonntag






Jazz’n’More – #2/17
Luftspiele JnM #2 17

 ist ein Veröffentlichung des deutschen Musikers und Architekten Udo Schindler aus Krailling bei München, in diesem Fall mit dem Schweizer Trompeter Marco von Orelli. Das Album besteht aus neun Nummern, die meist um die vier Minuten andauern und sich dem Element Luft von diversen Seiten nähert. LUFTzeichen, LUFTsog, LUFTtraum, so die ersten drei Titel dieser Veröffentlichung. Die Gesamterscheinung dieser CD ist sehr stimmig mit passendem Layout und ergänzendem Begleittext des Musikers Omri Ziegele. Er befasst sich darin assoziativ mit dem Thema Luft. Die zu hörenden Aufnahmen entstanden im Rahmen eines Konzerts, welches im September 2015 im „Salon für Klang und Kunst“ in Krailling stattfand. Sehr dicht ist die Musik, die einem hier begegnet. Luftgeräusche selbst in Form von purem Rauschen gibt es nicht zu hören. Man begegnet hier eher expressiven Klangäußerungen im Duo sowie geräuschaffinem Spiel auf den jeweiligen Instrumenten. Die Musiker befinden sich in einem steten Dialog miteinander. Hier wird ohne viel Firlefanz für den Moment musiziert, und zum Anhören ist das recht kurzweilig. (kat)

Magazin für Musik und Umgebung

& MARCO VON ORELLILuft.Spiele (FMR 416; UK), by Bruce Lee Gallanter

Featuring Udo Schindler on sopranino & tenor saxes & cornet and Marco Von Orelli on trumpet.
The great FMR label continues to present a wealth of gifted musicians from different scenes.
German reedman, Udo Schindler appeared on another newer duo CD from FMR
with fellow saxist Frank Paul Schubert.
Swiss trumpeter, Marco Von Orelli, has two fine more recent discs out on Hatology.
This disc was recorded live in Munich, Germany) in September of 2015.
These two players seem well matched, spinning quick lines around one another,
from fast & furious to slow & assured. Both men take their time to explore, bending and
twisting notes carefully.
The song titles all start with ‘Luft’ and deals with terminology which is involved with wind,
like suction or airspace. Midway, the duo slow down for some more contemplative dialogue,
which is calm yet somehow fascinating. They eventual move into soft, steaming radiator sounds
which were popular with Erstwhile trumpeters Axel Dorner & Frantz Hautzinger for a short while.
A rather striking, intense and unsettling duo that shouldn’t be ignored.

Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG

Bad Alchemy Magazin (BA 92) – by Rigobert Dittmann

& MARCO VON ORELLI   Luft.Spiele  (FMR Records, FMRCD416-0216):

Mit allen Raffinessen, die sich nur denken lassen, saugen, zerren, schaukeln, wirbeln,
pressen die beiden Salonlöwen der 58. Ausgabe die Luft in den Dienst der Klang+Kunst in Krailing.
Am 25.9.2015 spielte der Gastgeber Sopranino & Tenorsaxophone sowie Kornett,
der Besucher aus Basel seine von Omri Ziegele’s Billiger Bauer, Kaspar von Grünigens Bottom Orchestra
und dem eigenen Quintett her bekannte Trompete. Ziegele schrieb den beiden Luftikussen auch eine
blumige Laudatio, nennt sie “zwei Luftpiraten” und “zärtliche Jäger im Wald des sehnsuchtsvollen
Rauschens”, prostet dem “Wunder des gepressten Daseins” zu und proustet was von wiedergefundener
Zeit. Zu schön aber auch fauchen und schmauchen, kirren und gurren, brodeln und tröten die beiden
mit dem Beinahenichts in ihrer windigen Kanalisation. Sie flatterzüngeln und schnarren im
Windschatten der zunftüblichen Schmetterei kuriose Zapfenstreiche mit einer Virtuosität,
bei der der Diabolus in musica sich als Raubein mit spitzen Hörnern zeigt. Ich wusste gar nicht,
dass Orelli ein derartiger Spaßvogel ist, der in jeder Lage die Schräglage sucht und findet.
Mutet es kurz mal etwas zahmer und getragener an, folgen gleich wieder abgewürgte oder aufgekratze
Töne, geploppte und gespotzte, rostige und krumm gebogene, gern auch in spitz geknickten Zacken oder
paradoxen Sprüngen. Schindler gründelt in tiefster Lage, Orelli bläst tonlos durch ein undichtes Ventil,
der eine fiept, der andre schmatzt und kieft am Mundstück wie ein Hund an seinem Knochen.
Zwischendurch sprudelt es in einem Zug durch wie bei Peter Evans, zum Ende zu spürest du aber kaum
noch einen Hauch. Das klappt so intensiv und punktgenau, dass die beiden sich heuer an Ostern in
der Traunsteiner Klosterkirche erneut verabredeten, mit Baby Sommer als Spaßverstärkung.
[BA 92 rbd]


Si Close Ties on Hidden Lanes, son précédent disque en sextet chez HatHut, en disait long sur 
l’efficacité de son écriture, si sa participation ancienne au Root Down de Tommy Meier 
l’a consacré comme l’un des trompettistes les plus en vue sur la scène helvétique, c’est en compagnie 
du guitariste Luis Lopes au sein du Big Bold Black Bone que Marco Von Orelli s’est imposé sur 
les écrans radar européens. Est-ce cette fructueuse collaboration qui a conduit à ce 
« Prolog – Lisboa Days » qui ouvre ce nouvel album par un solo chaleureux ? 
Le natif de Bâle mène depuis plus de quinze ans une carrière qui se partage entre musique écrite 
et improvisation, comme en témoigne Alluring Prospect, paru cette fois-ci en quintet sur 
le fameux label à tranche orange.

Cette baisse d’effectif n’est pas qu’une simple réduction de voilure ; en se passant de la clarinette basse 
de Lukas Roos, le trompettiste recentre son propos sur le noyau que constitue sa relation avec 
le tromboniste Lukas Briggen et surtout le pianiste Michel Wintsch, récemment remarqué pour 
son solo Roof Fool, également chez HatHut [1]. C’est tout l’enjeu de « Monte Verità  » où les trois 
compères bataillent avec intensité, portés par la contrebasse attentive de Kaspar Von Grüningen
Les deux soufflants se lancent notamment dans une discussion exclusive qui marque le propos 
très contemporain d’une couleur influencée par la seconde école de Vienne.

On retrouve également la complémentarité de ce noyau dur sur le très abstrait « Triptychon » 
que les grésillements électroniques du synthétiseur de Wintsch teintent d’une atmosphère assez 
complexe. La trame du morceau se révèle très braxtonienne, notamment lorsque le clavier se 
fond dans les sifflements métalliques des cymbales de Samuel Dühsler. On retrouvera, 
dans le long morceau « Vita  », une direction similaire où Von Orelli trouve en son pianiste 
un interlocuteur incontournable, ponctué par le jeu d’embouchure du tromboniste. 
Le résumé idéal d’un album qui s’appuie largement sur cette relation privilégiée de solistes 
remarquables et consacre de nouveau la Suisse comme un creuset intarissable.

par Franpi Barriaux // Publié le 24 avril 2016

Marco von Orelli 5: Alluring Prospect

Teniamo d’occhio da un po’ di anni lo svizzero (di Basilea, per l’esattezza) Marco von Orelli
e dobbiamo dire che ogni volta che incrociamo qualche sua nuova incisione (di ascoltarlo dalle nostre parti, 
malgrado la sostanziale vicinanza, non se ne parla) la conferma del suo talento è pronta e convincente. 

Quest’ultimo lavoro in quintetto (formazione minima, diremmo, per dar voce alle sue doti di autore 
e—diciamo così—metteur en musique in senso lato) non fa eccezione. Intanto lo affiancano musicisti certamente 
dotati (il più noto è il pianista ginevrino Michel Wintsch, a sua volta leader di notevoli potenzialità), 
ma è comunque l’impianto globale (la struttura, la spina dorsale) a risultare quanto mai solido e vivifico. 

Vi si ritrova quel fare vagamente cameristico che da sempre contraddistingue la musica di Orelli, 
il nitore nell’intersecarsi delle voci, la costante puntualità e pulizia timbrica, l’incedere incruento (almeno di regola) 
ma non per questo estenuato o vacuamente estetizzante, la non ovvietà, l’articolazione dei tracciati 
pur entro una coerenza estetica stringente. 

Ci sono episodi solitari (proprio la tromba di Orelli nell’iniziale “Prolog—Lisboa Day,” 
o il prologo pianistico in “Monte Verità”) e altri decisamente vociferanti, qua e là di segno contrappuntistico, 
qualche pennellata elettronica, intercapedini minimal che d’improvviso si accendono. 
È quanto accade per esempio in “Boat People,” unico episodio, con “Ayako,” non a firma del leader 
(il primo è del contrabbassista von Grünigen, il secondo di Wintsch), cui segue il conclusivo “Vita,” ampio affresco 
(oltre un quarto d’ora) a tratti persino tumultuoso, per quanto sempre sorvegliato (e comunque in 
decrescendo finale), che chiude un album ancora una volta maiuscolo.

Track Listing: Prolog – Lisboa Days; Ayako; Monte Verità; Ghost Dance; Triptychon; Boat People; Vita.

Personnel: Marco von Orelli: tromba; Lukas Briggen: trombone; Michel Wintsch: pianoforte, sintetizzatore; 
Kasper von Grünigen: contrabbasso; Samuel Dühsler: batteria.

Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Hatology

Marco von Orelli 5, Alluring Prospect by hatOLOGY 726

February 21, 2016

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.

Before tuning this into a tract on numerology the explanation is that part of the appeal of Alluring Prospect 
comes from the brass contrast and tonal adherence that occurs between von Orelli’s often resilient puffs 
and peeps and the blustery umber tones from trombonist Lukas Briggen, also a member of the 
Lucerne Jazz Orchestra. Pianist/synthesizer player Michael Wintsch, who also composed one of the 
two non-von Orelli originals on the disc – von Gruningen wrote the other –, has his own in bands such as 
the WHO trio with Gerry Hemingway. Like a sous chef so sophisticated in the creation of his signature 
dishes that his spice wizardry upsets the master chefs preparations, the undertow from Wintsch’s juddering 
synth processing and sophisticated pianism are notable on their own, but detract from establishing a group 

The rasping riffing that characterizes the Briggen-von Orelli partnership however is expressed throughout; 
even furrowing a groove in their individual reactions to the pianist’s “Ayako”. This same synthesis, spelled by 
tremolo piano lines and impacts that appear to caress the keys more than press them, is displayed on the 
extended “Vita”. This particular curriculum vitae proclaims that this combination of the trombonist’s rubbery 
plunger slurps and muted trumpet smears create an individual identity within the strictures and structures of 
European Jazz.

Instructively von Orelli extends this EuroJazz concept even further. Matching machine oscillations and trumpet 
pecks for instance lead to a baroque-like brass overlay with positioned ratamacues and some vibrating piano 
asides on “Boat People. The same sort of set up materializes on “Ghost Dance”, which rather than being singularly transparent is instead the most consistent instance of group identity. Imbuing his trumpet tone with a pre-modern lilt, von Orelli piles peeps, plops and pauses woodpile-like on top of one another until von Grüningen’s triple stopping and nerve beats and cymbals slaps from Dühsler bring out a full-fledged swing section leading to a satisfyingly tight ending.

Von Orelli’s modulations and motivations coupled with the others’ playing confirm why listening to this CD is in itself an alluring prospect. The added anticipation rests in wondering at what size the group will next record and what it will produce.

—Ken Waxman for JazzWord

Traumhafter Austausch

Bund MBPK und Christian Lillinger im bird’s eye Basel.

Die Kulturstiftung Bartels Fondation in Basel hat ihren Bund MBPK geschmiedet. Der ungewöhnliche Name
für ein Jazz-Quartett versteht sich pragmatisch: zwei ehemalige Stipendiaten, die Berliner Saxophonisten
Benjamin Weidekamp und Philipp Gropper, taten sich mit zwei Schweizern zusammen, dem Trompeter
Marco von Orelli und dem Bassisten Kaspar von Grünigen. Dieser zusammengewürfelte, aber organisch spielende
Bund erhielt nun Schützenhilfe durch den virtuosen Schlagzeuger Christian Lillinger, einen weiteren
Stipendiaten aus Berlin, der im April sein Amt antritt. Im Basler “bird’s eye” zeigte jetzt der zum Quintett
erweiterte Bund MBPK seine Kunst zwischen Komposition und Improvisation.

Gleich einleitend demonstrierte Lillinger, eins der hoffnungsvollsten deutschen Jazz-Talente, sein Können mit
klirrenden Becken und tanzenden Trommeln, während die Bläser Position bezogen. Auf alles achtend bediente
Grünigen den Bass mit dem Bogen und sorgte für rhythmische Grundierung. Denn Lillinger entwickelte
sein Spiel ziemlich frei. Er scherte sich um keinerlei Dreier- oder Vierertakte, swingende Gebärden bleiben
ebenfalls außen vor. Und in keinerlei harmonisches Korsett gezwängt – das Klavier wird hier nicht vermisst –
trieben sich die Bläser zu ihren solistischen Erkundungen gegenseitig an. Die thematischen Vorgaben der
Eigenkompositionen werden rasch verlassen, um sich in wildem Interplay, dem traumhaften Austausch, zu ergehen.

Mit verblüffender Technik gefällt Trompeter Marco von Orelli, wenn er sein expressives Spiel bis ins Geräuschhafte treibt. Dem Blech setzen die beiden Holzbläser einiges entgegen. Mit schnatternder Bassklarinette verlässt Benjamin Weidenkamp ebenso wie Philipp Gropper auf dem Tenorsaxophon die gewohnte Notenskala. Melodien werden scharfzüngig zerpflückt, Brüche bringen neue Perspektiven. Die komplexe Klangwelt des Quintetts gibt sich erstaunlich organisch, für kollektives Energiespiel wie geschaffen.

Nach der Pause werden die Notenständer entfernt, um noch druckvoller, noch energischer agieren zu können. Das freie Spiel wird schier auf die Spitze getrieben, Free Jazz, jenes Genre, das die Emanzipation des europäischen Jazz vor einem halben Jahrhundert einleitete, feiert fröhlich Urständ. Dabei beherrschen die fünf jungen Musiker ihr Handwerk glänzend, finden im Interplay immer wieder zu neuem, frischem Ausdruck. Dem rasenden Altsax Weidekamps setzt Gropper versöhnliche Töne entgegen. Lillinger steigert sich in einen weiteren Spielrausch, Snare und Becken mit Besen bearbeitend. Einmal gar bezieht der Drummer die Bühne ins sein perkussives Spiel ein. Wie sich diese individuellen Spielweisen wie die Lust am Experiment schließlich kollektiv zusammenfügen, verdient höchsten Respekt. Das überschaubare Publikum im “bird’s eye” ist begeistert.

Badische Zeitung, 6. Februar 2016, Reiner Kobe

Marco von Orelli 5: “Alluring Prospect” (Hatology)

Rui Eduardo Paes,  11 de Janeiro de 2016

O trompetista suíço Marco von Orelli tem uma ligação a Portugal, e esta ganhou expressão como 
projecto Big Bold Back Bone, no qual participam dois músicos nacionais, Luís Lopes e Travassos. 
Essa conexão é salientada logo na abertura do segundo álbum do músico no catálogo da prestigiada 
Hatology (colecção integrada na mais ampla Hat Hut), com o evocativo “Lisboa Days”. 
Não se fica, no entanto, por aí: a gravação foi realizada na capital portuguesa, e designadamente no 
Namouche de Joaquim Monte. Com o apoio do trombonista Lukas Briggen, do pianista Michel Wintsch 
e dos ritmistas Kaspar von Grungen (contrabaixo) e Samuel Dunsler (bateria), o que vem em “Alluring 
Prospect” merece com toda a propriedade a designação de “jazz progressivo”, e isso porque congemina 
uma visão pós-modernista (mas sóbria, como convém acrescentar) do jazz em que vão emergindo 
recursos linguísticos provenientes de um certo rock de dimensão “arty” e da música contemporânea.

Se os luso-transalpinos BBBB optam liminarmente pela improvisação, a escrita é neste disco o eixo e o 
zénite de todos os acontecimentos. Uma escrita elaborada, com mais substância do que qualquer coisa que 
tivesse sido urdida para proporcionar solos improvisados, mas que nunca chega a ser maneirista pelo facto 
de cada fórmula, cada ideia, ter uma razão de ser e uma lógica interna. Não complica por complicar, é, e no 
que é não há contradição alguma com o lado “groovy” por onde os temas passam, introduzido pelo 
sintetizador daquele que é – como repetidamente aqui se confirma – um dos mais interessantes pianistas 
europeus da actualidade, e continuado por Grungen e Dunsler. Ou seja, se está nestas faixas, sem dúvida, 
um jazz intelectualizado, o dito sabe gingar e divertir-se, seduzindo-nos os ouvidos.

Big Bold Back Bone  30 de Novembro de 2015

Viagem de automóvel

texto Rui Eduardo Paes

O quarteto de Marco Von-Orelli, Luís Lopes, Travassos e Sheldon Suter apresentou na Parede a sua visão
de uma música “não-desenvolvimentista” em que, afinal, muito ia sub-repticiamente acontecendo.
Os dois suíços brilharam, mas os portugueses mantiveram-se discretos, o que fez com que o concerto não
entusiasmasse. Talvez da próxima vez, como na anedota do passeio motorizado pelas montanhas da Suíça…

Há uma anedota, criada pelos próprios suíços para se rirem de si mesmos, em que um casal do país dos
relógios faz uma longa viagem de automóvel durante a qual os seus diálogos são mantidos com pausas de
silêncio entre uma pergunta e uma resposta, um comentário e a reacção a este. A primeira frase é proferida
pelo marido: «Foi bom ontem à noite, não foi?» A mulher leva 20 minutos a responder, fazendo-nos
adivinhar que a sessão de sexo de que falam foi igualmente muito lenta e espaçada. Quem me contou este
exemplo do acutilante humor alpino foi um importante músico da cena de Berna, Günter Müller, e parece
explicar bem a abordagem ao jazz estático feita na SMUP, a 28 de Novembro, pelo quarteto luso-suíço
Big Bold Back Bone. Tal como neste passeio motorizado, parecia não acontecer muita coisa, mas na
verdade a música estava em movimento.

Marco Von-Orelli, Luís Lopes, Travassos e Sheldon Suter têm como coordenadas musicais a reiteração de
motivos e o estabelecimento de bordões, aderindo ao tipo de “droning” que vem caracterizando uma área
muito específica da música improvisada, aquela que a revista britânica Wire, tão lesta a produzir rótulos,
carimbou como EAI, iniciais para Electro-Acoustic Improvisation. É nesse domínio que o grupo se insere,
associando instrumentos acústicos (o trompete de Von-Orelli, a bateria de Suter) ao eléctrico de Lopes
(guitarra) e à parafernália electrónica de Travassos, esta englobando os circuitos integrados de manufactura
do também responsável da editora Shhpuma e “designer” gráfico da Clean Feed, gravadores de cassetes
transformados e objectos ultra-amplificados.

Mas assim como é verdade que mesmo numa música dita “não-desenvolvimentista” há movimento, com
progressivas introduções de pequenos elementos transformadores, subtis variações, as intrigas sonoras
apresentadas pelos Big Bold Back Bone iam avançando, rompendo caminho por via do detalhe e do sub-reptício.
Com igual, ou semelhante, conjunto de materiais, aumentavam ou diminuíam as dinâmicas e subiam ou
desciam de intensidade, umas vezes aproximando-se do sussurro, outras ganhando uma imponência quase
orquestral. Como sabe quem conduz, um percurso de carro faz-se por constantes diferenças topográficas,
seguindo o declive das colinas ou a planura dos vales. Assim foi o que se ouviu na Parede – algo de muito diferente das montanhas-russas que acontecem quando se perde o rumo de uma improvisação que, ao contrário desta, procura ser fiel ao princípio de nunca se repetir.

Acresce que os Big Bold Back Bone têm na EAI apenas os fundamentos. As bases de sustentação podem ser as texturas abstractas e o “bruitismo” dessa tendência, mas a esse plano adicionam melodia, harmonia e ritmo, os alicerces da musicalidade tal como é convencionalmente entendida, ainda que os fraseados melódicos surjam fragmentados, as construções harmónicas se pretendam imediatistas e a pulsação seja quebrada, polirrítmica ou arrítmica. É desse lado que vem o jazz, muito centrado no trabalho do trompete (e do trompete de vara) de Marco Von-Orelli. Se neste concerto o ouvimos a partilhar os burburismos de Axel Dörner, também nos remeteu para a sonoridade quente de um Don Cherry, a doçura de um Miles Davis e até a languidez de um Kenny Wheeler.

Notou-se, no entanto, um desequilíbrio entre os préstimos dos dois suíços e as contribuições dos dois portugueses, e esse problema fez com que sentíssemos que estávamos não diante de um quarteto, mas de dois duos – o que não se verifica no (excelente) disco lançado em 2013 pelo projecto, “Clouds Clues”, e não se detectou nas poucas anteriores apresentações ao vivo no nosso país. Os Big Bold Back Bone têm uma existência intermitente. Só muito de vez em quando os quatro músicos se reúnem, e a última vez em que isso se verificou foi para uma digressão pela Suíça no passado mês de Maio. Ora, Von-Orelli e Suter mantêm com regularidade um dueto, Lost Socks (tocou dia 27 no Creative Fest), e ficou bem patente o entrosamento que têm entre si, deixando inevitavelmente os outros parceiros
de fora. Já Lopes e Travassos não costumam trabalhar juntos e, nesta ocasião, foram demasiado zelosos na tarefa
de introduzir padrões e grão nas tramas. Fizeram pouco mais.

Ou seja, se os suíços conquistaram os seus próprios espaços de projecção num contexto que era iminentemente colectivo, com magníficos solos de Von-Orelli e uma notável e muito imaginativa prestação do baterista e percussionista, Luís Lopes e Travassos mantiveram-se algo passivos. Na maior parte do tempo limitando-se a torturar as cordas da guitarra com um arco de violoncelo, Lopes dispensou-se de dar ao público o que tem de melhor e que contribuiria, decerto, para enriquecer a música e colocar-se ao mesmo nível da dupla suíça.
No caso de Travassos, surpreendeu a postura discreta e quase unicamente de adensamento das construções de demorada laboração, tendo em conta a potencialidade dos seus dispositivos e o carácter interventivo que lhe conhecemos, por exemplo, da actividade com o trio Pão.

Os resultados foram ainda assim bastante interessantes, mas poderiam ter sido magníficos e a esse tipo de enlevo infelizmente nunca se chegou. Como respondeu a esposa da anedota à questão do seu cônjuge: «Foi bom, sim, querido. Temos de fazer outra vez, e melhor.» Aguardemos, para daqui a alguns quilómetros…


Marco von Orelli 5 – Alluring Prospect

Hathut Records – 51:26

Net als het bergpad op de hoes zit de muziek van de Zwitserse trompettist vol verraderlijkheden.
Steeds zijn er kleine verschuivingen in het tempo, in de melodische lijnen of de harmonie.
Hoewel dat soms naar al te nadrukkelijk compliceren neigt, roepen die oneffenheden veelal ook een
prettige spanning op. Von Orelli heeft bovendien een uitgelezen club musici bijeengebracht die kunnen
improviseren met behoud van klankkleur en harmonisch raffinement. Dat is alleszins geen toeval,
want Von Orelli heeft duidelijke ideeën over de relatie tussen compositie en improvisatie.
Opnieuw heeft Hathut een cd het licht doen zien waarvan alleen al de liner notes de aanschaf
rechtvaardigen. Als componist probeert Von Orelli de maximale reikwijdte uit de bezetting te halen.
Toetsenist Michael Wintsch wisselt piano en synthesizer af, bassist Kaspar von Grüningen pakt
herhaaldelijk de strijkstok erbij en trombonist Lukas Briggen begeeft zich steeds daar waar Von Orelli
op trompet juist niet is, neemt de demper als Von Orelli vol gas geeft, kiest laag wanneer deze omhoog
gaat en vice versa. Het is allemaal zo intelligent gedaan dat je als luisteraar soms heimelijk naar wat meer
banaliteit en humor verlangt. Er zijn niettemin voldoende momenten waarop Alluring Prospect
van leven bruist en de ingenieuze vondsten fonkelen.

oktober 27, 2015, Mischa Andriessen

AZ München, 15.10.15

Abendzeitung Muenchen 15.10.2015

Festival Report – Météo, Mulhouse (F)
By Ken Waxman

… Evans wasn’t the only impressive trumpeter either. Marco Von Orelli playing with fellow Swiss,
drummer Samuel Dühsler and bassist Kasper Von Grünigen opened the festival with an afternoon set
at the Mulhouse tourist office.
Mercurial but motivated, the three easily dealt with supposedly limited tones by dividing up the program
as if they were actors playing multiple roles. Besides keeping up a solid rhythmic thrust, the bassist stepped
forward for below-the-bridge swipes and guitar-like snaps, while the drummer animated his processes with
clattering cymbals and wood-block smacks.
Picking up on the trumpeter’s insouciant buzzes and flutter-tonguing, they twisted accompaniment into
logical tune extensions. Biting or bucolic, the perfectly matched trio members’ set confirmed there are
plenty of younger players who deserve exposure. And it’s this impulse as well as providing a showcase for
mature stylists that allow festivals such as Météo exist and thrive.

—For The New York City Jazz Record October 2015



Entre écriture et improvisation. Marco Von Orelli le petit dernier lancé par le label de référence Hatology.
Très très bon ! (BB)

Enregistré au Studio Namouche à Lisbonne, du 19 au 22 février 2013.

Títol: Alluring Prospects
Autor: Marco von Orelli
Intèrprets: Marco von Orelli, trumpet; Lukas Briggen, trombone; Michael Wintsch, piano, synthesizer; Kasper von Gruningen, double bass; Samuel Duhsler, drums.
Segell discogràfic: HatOLOGY

Músic, compositor i improvisador. El trompetista suís Marco von Orelli continua presentant projectes de gran nivell
i la improvisació està al centre del seu univers. Alluring Prospects, plena d’idees potents, és la narració musical de la
seva polivalent personalitat. És extremadament rigorós i en el seu tènue lirisme hi aflora una austeritat sonora,
apassionant i d’una imaginació fecunda. En aquest disc, una nova mostra més de la seva creació, sempre innovadora,
l’acompanyen músics que saben entendre l’immens i complex món interior d’Orelli. Des del pròleg, Lisboa Days, fins
a la darrera peça, Vita, van sorgint petites idees emmarcades en un de jazz progressiu que els cinc músics desenvolupen
per mitjà de fascinants estratègies d’improvisació per crear una mena d’ecosistema sonor, cosa que encaixa a la perfecció
amb la tradició del segell discogràfic de Werner X. Uehlinger.
Lukas Briggen, Michael Wintsch, Samuel Dühsler i Kasper von Gruningen creen amb naturalitat aquelles relacions
subterrànies en què la relació entre ritme i la melodia és màgica. La immediatesa i la llibertat dels seus llenguatges
arrabassen, a vegades, la tranquil·litat, i tot seguit, són capaços d’erigir els moments més plàcids que ningú es pugui 
imaginar. Perspectives de fascinació, el títol, en aquest sentit, no podia ser més explícit, perquè planteja la llibertat
com un factor important per resoldre qualsevol debat sonor que s’origini al llarg de l’enregistrament. I és així,
perquè el quintet roman en una activitat interpretativa que va evolucionant i que no ens permet preveure, en cap cas,
el seu desenvolupament. Aquesta llibertat de la qual parlem, es transforma en una plaent sincronia d’idees, de sons,
de tempos i de contrastos que entenen que la interacció es un element fonamental per improvisar música.

29 setembre, 2015 per a Hat Hut Records

Basellandschaftliche Zeitung, 15. Juni 15

Jazzpodium – Juni 2015
Jazzpodium Mai 15

Jazz’n’More Nr. 3 – 2015


Weltwoche  Nr. 17 – 23. April 2015
von Peter Rüedi

Weltwoche Nr. 17.15

NZZ am Sonntag  
 19. April 2015



Marco von Orelli 5: Alluring Prospect. Hat Hut Records 726.

Der junge Trompeter und Komponist Marco von Orelli ist uns 2012 erstmals aufgefallen. Der aus Basel stammende Musiker, der in Winterthur, Zürich und seiner Heimatstadt studiert hat, publizierte damals auf Hat Hut sein Debütalbum «Close Ties on Hidden Lanes». Die Sextett-Aufnahme bewegte sich zwischen Jazz, Neuer Musik und freier Improvisation. Das Erbe von Ellington und Mingus war so präsent wie die Zwölftonmusik. In verschiedenen Formationen hatte der Trompeter bereits zuvor sein Talent bewiesen: in der Big Band von George Gruntz etwa, aber auch in Tommy Meiers «Root Down». Nun legt er sein zweites Album als Leader vor. Aus dem Sextett ist ein Quintett geworden. Ausgeschieden ist der Bassklarinettist Lukas Roos. Auf den übrigen Positionen ist alles beim Alten: Lukas Briggen spielt Posaune, Michel Wintsch Klavier, Kaspar von Grünigen Bass und Samuel Dühsler Schlagzeug. Die Kompositionen – fünf von sieben hat der Leader selbst geschrieben – sind kompakter geworden. Sie reflektieren Erlebnisse und Bildungsgut der Musiker – von Katzen über Geister bis zum Monte Verità -, sind aber nicht Programmmusik im engen Sinn. Kompromisse an den Publikumsgeschmack werden keine gemacht. Es geht um Exerzitien, nicht um Kulinarik. Hübsche Vignette: Peter Margasak behauptet im Booklet zur CD keck, «Triptychon» sei Schweizerdeutsch für «Triptych». (pap.)

 Marco von Orelli 5: Alluring Prospect (2015), hatOLOGY 726


By GLENN ASTARITA, Published: April 9, 2015

Swiss trumpeter Marco von Orelli possesses a manifold musical persona. He’s composed for TV, theater and collaborates with many notable European jazz artists and improvisers. But as a leader, Alluring Prospects poses deep insight into his enthralling compositional pen, bridging classical, jazz and the improvisational element into multilateral array of largely, energizing frameworks.
With slight doses of classical austerity amid twisting choruses and stately themes, the ensemble also executes concise unison lines with asymmetrical infusions of loose groove improv, embedded within these complex arrangements. For example, on “Ghost Dance, von Orelli’s muted phrasings summon notions of pathos, countered by trombonist Lukas Briggen’s flickering passages, leading to frothy call and response episodes. But they seamlessly transform the progressive jazz undercurrent with a spunky rock pulse via a horde of chameleonic changes.
Estimable Swiss pianist and solo artist Michel Wintsch adds subtle synthesizer lines into various movements as he complements and retorts the hornists’ clamorous thematic segments, tempered with wit and whimsy. At times the band gets a bit rowdy with terse statements and a profusion of contrasting improvisational encounters, synchronized with sinuous explorations. On the final track “Vita,” Wintsch’s simmering synth riffs and otherworldly treatments interconnect his band-mates’ rugged developments. Here, the soloists are opposing forces engaging in battle. Yet they temper the pace and embark upon numerous modes of reinvention. Indeed, von Orelli is an active mind on the loose, evidenced on his second album for the Switzerland-based hatOLOGY record label. And his multifaceted arrangements present a loaded deck that tenders a 360-view of von Orelli’s impressive talents and forward-looking vision.

Track Listing:
Prolog – Lisboa Days; Ayako; Monte Verita; Ghost Dance; Triptychon; Boat People; Vita.
Marco von Orelli: trumpet; Lukas Briggen: trombone; Michael Wintsch: piano, synthesizer; 
Kasper von Grünigen: double bass; Samuel Duhsler: drums.

kulturtipp 2015-03-31

IMPRO JAZZ Magazine d’information musicale No. 211 – janvier 2015
Impro Jazz

Big Bold Back Bone – Clouds Clues (Wide Ear Records)

Guy Peters – 08 december 2014  –


Opnieuw een release die in Lissabon (maar wel al in 2010) werd opgenomen
en ver uit de buurt van conventioneel geharrewar blijft. Big Bold Back Bone
brengt twee vertegenwoordigers van de Zwitserse scene — trompettist
Marco von Orelli en drummer Sheldon Suter — bij twee afgezanten uit Lissabon:
Lopes en analoge elektronica-artiest Travassos, die vooral bekend is door zijn
artwork voor het Clean Feed-label.
Deze vier houden zich op in de zone tussen vrije muziek en elektroakoestische
improvisatie met een totaalsound die ondanks de redelijk compacte duur van de
meeste stukken ook niet voor iedereen weggelegd is. Opnieuw krijg je hier die schommeling tussen
eerder suggestieve schetsen — soms neigt het zelfs naar het sound design van het Peter Evans Quintet,
waarin een hoofdrol weggelegd is voor schurende, ruisende en pruttelende klanken — en een zijstapje
naar het terrein van de iets conventionelere improvisatie (“Pulp Pal”, “Point Blank”). In “Subsoil Sound”
wordt gespeeld met pure sound en opvallende effecten (smak- en kusgeluiden van de trompet, bvb.), bij
“Slow Snow” neigt het meer naar een dreigend minimalisme en bij “Bristle Brush” mondt het uit in een noisy
duet voor gitaar en trompet. Opnieuw geen evident heen-en-weer-gekets, maar een coherent avontuur dat
steek houdt voor luisteraars zonder oorkleppen.


big bold back bone clouds clues

Dans cette station de télescopage qu’est Big Bold Back Bone s’agitent quelques familiarités (un zeste de Prime Time ici, un zeste de BerneDucret ailleurs, des sursauts soniques un peu partout). Y stagnent aussi des terres introspectives, logiquement malaxées par les analogic electronics (des electronics bio ?) de Travassos.
Dans cet underground profond où rien ne se dénoue, s’invitent les pénétrants caquetages de la trompette de Marco von Orelli. Et, par bonheur, la guitare rigoureuse de Luís Lopes déstabilise parfois cette brume sans fin. Mais, à l’arrivée, persiste cette étrange impression de territoires indéfinis et trop peu arpentés par un combo oublieux de son envol.

vital weekly – number 931
week 19


Wide Ear Records is a new Swiss label for contemporary music in all its possible crossovers. Swiss-Portuguese collaboration Big Bold Back Bone is a first example of this. A quartet made up of Marco von Orelli (trumpet, piccolo trumpet), Louis Lopes (electric guitar), Travassos (analogue electronics) and Sheldon Suter (drums).  A first one off meeting in 2008 turned out to be the starting point for further collaboration. After a short tour through Portugal they decided to make some recordings in a Lisbon studio in December 2010. It are these recordings we find on this release. Some background. Von Orelli and Suter are both member of Musique Brute, a Swiss improv combo who released an album (‘Poste Restante’) on Unit Records in 2012. Travassos is educated in the field of design,  setting his first steps as a musician here. Lopes is often met in the company of musicians like Sei Miguel, Stefan Gonzalez, a.o, and leads his own project Humanization Quartet. As the recordings for‘ Cloud Clues’ date from several years ago, I hope the four are still in business as Big Bold Back Bone. Their – often – noisy sound improvisations sound very together and focused, playing with lots of ideas. Lively and really exciting improvisations it are, not in the least by the subtle electronics of Travassos. 
Very worthwhile. (DM)


Jazz’n’More no. 2/2014


Sun Ship
 17 Janvier 2014

Big Bold Back Bone – Clouds Clues

Fruit de la rencontre de musiciens suisse et de musiciens portugais autour d’un jeune label helvète prometteur, Wide Ear Records, Big Bold Back Bone (BBBB) est un quartet dirigé par le trompettiste Marco von Orelli, que l’on avait pu repérer au sein du Root Down de Tommy Meier, et surtout à la tête d’un sextet qui a publié un album chez Hat-Hut en 2012. Musicien de l’instant, von Orelli aime l’urgence et la chaleur. 
A ses côtés, on retrouve son compatriote Sheldon Suter qui partageait déjà avec lui le bien nommé Musique Brute où l’on retrouvait également Co Streiff dans un exercice assez proche de celui qui nous concerne aujourd’hui. 
Les techniques étendues du trompettiste, souvent sur le fil du simple souffle, trouvent avec son batteur un 
percussionniste sensible, très organique. Suter sait accompagner l’improvisation vers des plages de calme comme dans des brisures soudaines et nerveuses sans cependant renverser la table.
Parfois, au fil de l’album, on songe à Kaze par cette urgence pleine de raffinement où la trompette est un pivot fragile (“Nice Drive”, qui ouvre l’album). Dans un morceau comme “Outdrops Boat”, son jeu très métallique borde une vaste masse sonore pleine de chimères et d’échos lointains. Cet espace d’apparence infini est le terrain de jeu de BBBB. 
C’est cette impression d’espace qui définit Cloud Clues, le premier album de BBBB. Il permet de découvrir une musique sèche, nerveuse et percluse d’électricité où la trompette de von Orelli est travaillée en son coeur par la guitare omniprésente de Luis Lopes, qui s’affirme d’albums en albums comme l’un des guitaristes actuels préféré de ces pages. Que ce soit au sein de son Humanization 4tet ou dans le remarquable Lisbon Berlin Trio, l’approche à la fois pleine de souffle et de tension, proche de la rythmique et très bruitiste du guitariste assèche au possible le propos de ses comparses. Il suffit de se plonger ici au coeur de l’incendiaire “Shoeshine” pour s’en rendre compte ; le jeu d’embouchure du trompettiste est giflé par de grands riffs monochromes de guitare, comme une nuit qui se crèverait pour laisser paraître une lumière éclatante, brute et cireuse. Le jeu de Lopes est acrimonieux, rageur parfois, mais il n’a pas la virulence que l’on avait pu rencontrer dans son dernier live. La présence de Travassos, architecte du son qui contribue également (on a jamais assez de talent) à l’identité graphique de Clean Feed Records y contribue grandement. Ce dernier a également joué de son électronique fébrile aux côtés de Rodrigo Amado ou Heddy Boubaker. 
C’est lui qui, en travaillant le son de ses comparses en direct, en jouant avec la répétition des timbres et leur extension irréelle, crée cette impression nébuleuse, cotonneuse et sépulcrale que l’on retrouve dans un morceau comme “Horizon Flicker”, qui clôt l’album. Le titre de l’album et sa pochette céleste laissent d’ailleurs un doute dans cette nuit aux lumières hésitantes; est il question de nuages ou de brouillage ?
Un peu des deux, manifestement. Tout est l’oeuvre de Travassos, qui explore avec bonheur cette musique de nuit. 
Dans le central “Subsoil Sound” qui permet de croiser les éclats de la trompette et les griffures méthodiques de la guitare, le sculpteur de son s’empare d’un claquement d’embouchure pour en faire le cri répété d’un oiseau. On se téléporte alors dans un monde inquiétant, infectieux et touffu où une trompette nerveuse semble sortir d’une clairière pour se jeter dans un flot d’électricité qui semble gonfler à mesure que le morceau avance. 
Cloud Clues est un album tourmenté, balayé par le vent créatif qui traverse depuis plusieurs années le jazz européen, pas si éloigné des improvisations nébuleuses de Christoph Erb au sein de Veto Records. Il nous accompagne avec agilité sur le fil ténu entre rêve et cauchemar dans les ténèbres tumultueuses de l’improvisation. 
C’est peu dire qu’on aime à s’y perdre..


Big Bold Back Bone: “Clouds Clues” (Wide Ear Records)

Rui Eduardo Paes

Saber que os músicos suíços deste quarteto, o trompetista Marco von Orelli e o baterista Sheldon Suter, são figuras exponenciais da cena improvisacional do seu país, tocando com nomes de primeiro plano como Frances Marie-Uitti e Urs Leimgruber, e que o lado português é representado pelos muito dinâmicos, e cada vez mais incontornáveis, Luís Lopes (Humanization Quartet) e Travassos (Pão), não nos prepara para o que vem neste “Clouds Clues”.

E o que vem é uma música electroacústica improvisada que não teme os vínculos idiomáticos com o jazz e o rock e que não entende os factores de experimentação, pesquisa e exploração como abordagens exclusivistas, como se verifica pelo apreço com que melodia, harmonia e ritmo são tratados ao longo dos temas. Enfim, não propriamente “temas”, mas “sketches” em que se pega numa determinada situação e se estudam as suas possibilidades, indo do mais convencional tonalismo a uma assumida intervenção bruitista. Sempre com tensão, intriga e trama, condições de base para a excelência, sendo que este é um disco excelentíssimo que inclui o melhor de que todos os seus quatro participantes já foram capazes até à data.

Big Bold Back Bone  –  
Clouds Clues (by Wide Ear Rec.) ·  23 Out 2013

Uma espinha dorsal luso-suíça.

Reunindo uma formação instrumental atípica, o quarteto Big Bold Back Bone resulta de uma parceria luso-suíça. Do lado nacional estão os representantes Luís Lopes, na guitarra eléctrica, e Travassos, na eletrónica analógica. A dupla portuguesa confronta-se com a dupla suíça: Marco von Orelli no trompete e Sheldon Suter na bateria. Os suíços constituem o duo Lost Socks (dedicado à improvisação), o guitarrista Luís Lopes o lidera o grupo Humanization Quartet (com Rodrigo Amado) e Travassos explana a sua electrónica analógica em múltiplos projectos (refira-se o trio Pão, entre outros projectos).

Registada em Dezembro de 2010, na sequência de alguns concertos que o quarteto organizou em Portugal, esta música mantém agora toda a actualidade e frescura. Assente na improvisação, esta é uma música que vive da interação instrumental que, estranhamente, funciona de forma muito fluída. O trompete de von Orelli revela uma imaginação controlada, a percussão de Sheldon sabe estar presente (sem ser pesada), a guitarra de Lopes nunca é excessiva (mesmo nos momentos de maior vertigem) e a electrónica de Travassos complementa com equilíbrio.

Democrática e estável, esta música é simultaneamente inventiva e muito aberta. Sem se fixar num rótulo definitivo, o quarteto vai-se esquivando entre laivos de jazz, electro-acústica e, no limite, rock. Mas é na improvisação que assenta o seu vector fundamental, é daí que é alimentada uma permanente tensão, combustível para uma música curiosa e fervilhante. Entre a eficiência suíça e o desenrasque lusitano, Clouds Clues é uma óptima surpresa.

Nuno Catarino

















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by Peter Margasak in DownBeat Magazin, January 2013


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Kulturtipp 01/13























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Jazz’n’More 01/13

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by Christian Carey, Sequenza 21

Swiss trumpeter and composer Marco von Orelli is equally at home in both traditional and “out” settings. Close Ties on Hidden Lanes, a recording of his sextet for Hat Hut, is a snapshot of a band versatile enough to encompass both ends of the jazz spectrum – as well as a healthy dose of contemporary classical reference points – Messiaen, Ives, Scelsi, etc. – to boot. The recording consists of eight originals by von Orelli , which are fleshed out with arranging help from band member and pianist/synth player Michel Wintsch, a performer who isn’t averse to adding electronic rocket fire periodically to the proceedings (listen to the varied and extended cut “Marsala’s Strandgut” for examples). These two are joined by trombonist Lukas Briggen, bass clarinetist Lukas Roos, bassist Kaspar von Grünigen, and drummer Samuel Dühsler.

Make no mistake however, even when the group is moving towards post-tonal terrain, they seldom lose track of strong sense of pulsation. On “Urban Ways,” wah-wah trumpets and long drawn out pitch bends are undergirded by a post-bop groove. The rhythm section eventually coalesces in a series of pounding repeated dissonant verticals that recall Stravinsky doing the “Rite thing.” Even in the more free play environment of “Poetry,” in which talking muted brass overtake the rhythm section for an extended period, there is still a sense of urgency and forward drive in the solos. When drums, bass, and keys forcefully reenter, one doesn’t feel as if gears shift, but that the underlying groove has been maintained during their relative absence.

A particularly fetching tune which shows off all of the players, as well as von Orelli’s composing chops and imaginative sense of form, is “Narragonia,” a fifteen minute long opus that forms the album’s centerpiece. It embraces long lyrical neo noir  solo trumpet and trombone duets, chorale-like tutti passages, and impressively well controlled upper register interjections from Roos. A bracing middle section filled with chromatic coruscation from the piano and terse angular blatting responses from the winds gives way to some avant mayhem from Roos in an extended howling cadenza. Wintsch, von Orelli, and Briggen follow suit, each soloing in equally questing fashion.After the inevitable explosive tutti, we are shifted into a more mysterious soundscape, filled with repeated note filigrees, whole tone piano riffs, and low register glissandi. Another cadenza, this time from trombone, is accompanied by synth, a  bit of prepared piano, and alternately shimmering and terse percussion textures. Gradually, von Orelli and Roos reassert themselves, and the opening chorale, deconstructed, lined out, and elaborately ornamented, brings us full circle. The interwoven chromatic lines from the piano and brass interjections reintroduce an even more ecstatic version of the opening chorale, which brings the composition to a tense and dissonant conclusion. Close Ties on Hidden Lanes brings together notation and improvisation, freedom and structure, chamber music and jazz in an amalgamation that suggests vibrant ways forward on each of these musical thoroughfares.


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All About Jazz By GLENN ASTARITA, Published: June 6, 2012

Track review
of “Urban Ways” Indeed, an impressive inaugural release by Swiss trumpeter Marco von Orelli, who conveys maturity way beyond his youthful age. On call for writing jingles, session gigs, and theatrical productions, the conservatory-trained artist may have a bright future ahead of him, based on the qualitative aspects of this sextet date.”Urban Ways” is a prime example of von Orelli’s cunning musicality, when considering the scope of these multifaceted works. With a pumping funk-groove and contrasting unison horns, the band summons a cheery vibe. Framed on a simple melody line and an upbeat modality, the sextet swerves into a free-form avant-garde sequence, tinted with bizarre electronics swashes and shift gears, encompassing notions of anguish and uncertainty. This pattern continues, as von Orelli injects pathos with his muted wah-wah phrasings and a few slippery detours along the way. The group doesn’t pronounce any semblances of complacency, as pianist Michel Wintschshifts the piece to another zone with his lower-register ostinato phrasings. But von Orelli tosses another curve into the grand schema by faintly altering the primary melody during the coda.Von Orelli is a perceptive young man, signaling a variegated approach to the progressive jazz idiom. And while citing someone as a star in jazz circles may be hindered by a few boundaries since most notions of convention go by the wayside, von Orelli does project star potential on the basis of this striking debut.

Personnel: Marco von Orelli: trumpet; Lukas Briggen: trombone; Lukas Roos: bass clarinet; Michel Wintsch: piano, synthesizer; Kaspar von Grunigen: double bass; Samuel Duhsler: drums.

Record Label: Hatology

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Marco von Orelli 6: Close Ties On Hidden Lanes. hatOlogy 709.

Der junge Trompeter und Komponist Marco von Orelli stammt aus Basel. Studiert hat er in Winterthur, Zürich und in seiner Heimatstadt. Stilistisch bewegt er sich zwischen Jazz, Neuer Musik und freier Improvisation. Das Erbe von Duke Ellington und Charles Mingus ist ihm so präsent wie Schönbergs Zwölftonmusik. In verschiedenen Formationen hat er bereits sein Talent bewiesen: in der Big Band von George Gruntz etwa, aber auch in Tommy Meiers «Root Down». Nun legt er beim renommierten Avantgarde-Label Hat Hut sein Debütalbum als Leader vor. Es ist weit mehr als eine Talentprobe. Die acht Kompositionen faszinieren durch Eigensinn und Ideenreichtum. Sie spielen auf Sebastian Brants «Narrenschiff» (1494) an, dem mit Mitteln der Zweiten Wiener Schule zu Leibe gerückt wird, aber auch auf Man Ray; sie bringen Sizilien und die unterirdische Welt moderner Metropolen zum Klingen. Marco von Orellis Musik ist nicht eingängig, aber nahrhaft. Sie lebt von der Spannung zwischen so knappen wie komplexen, ausgeschriebenen Themen und freier Improvisation. Um solistisches Schaulaufen geht es nicht, wohl aber um subtile Klangfarben-Kombinationen. Dafür sorgen neben dem Leader Lukas Briggen (Posaune) Lukas Roos (Bassklarinette), Michael Wintsch (Piano, Synthesizer), Kaspar von Grünigen (Bass) und Samuel Dühsler (Schlagzeug).
NZZ am Sonntag, 20. Mai 2012

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There’s much to savour on this debut from Basel trumpeter Marco von Orelli’s sextet, from the wiry lines and multiphonics of trombonist Lukas Briggen to Lukas Roos’s wild bass clarinet, with bassist Kaspar von Gruningen and drummer Samuel Duhsler ensuring the mechanism runs smoothly. Pianist Michel Wintsch deftly counterpoints the horn solos with pockets of activity that perfectly encapsulate the music’s larger harmonic evolution. Orelli’s compositions , like his trumpet playing, are intricately structured and technically impressive without beeing flashy. And it’s not without surprise: love how “ Urban Ways“ moves from M-Base metrics into post-Reductionist splutter without batting an eyelid.

Wire May 2012, by Dan Warburton

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A beautiful little record – and one of the most compelling Hat Art sets we’ve heard from a younger artist in a long time!
The approach here is quite fresh – initially an interplay of tones and textures, which quickly moves into some rhythmically expressive tunes that push the band forward nicely. There’s then a return to more subtle sound shifts – making great use of piano from Michel Wintsch and bass clarinet from Lukas Roos – then opening up with more lively lines from Marco Von Orelli on trumpet and Lukas Briggen on trombone! Wintsch also plays a bit of keyboards, and the set also features Kaspar Von Grunigen on bass and Samuel Duhsler on drums. Titles include “Marsala’s Strandgut”, “Urban Ways”, “Poetry”, “Narragonia”, and “Maris”.
It is a very nice record, indeed!

Rick Wojcik© 1996-2012, Dusty Groove America, Inc


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