When Schweizer and Drake play together, they have impeccable communication. It is such an elegant interaction, so close and intimate and loving, that the thought of adding another player is at first off-putting. But then Fred Anderson is not just another player. He’s Hamid Drake’s oldest playmate, a mentor and supporter and bosom-buddy. Their relationship literally extends back to when Hamid was a kid, and over the last decade they’ve played together more frequently than in the previous one. Two deeply musical souls from Monroe, Louisiana, who made their lives in Chicago and who now consider the world their stage. Bringing Anderson into their relatively young relationship, Drake and Schweizer extended the range of experiences they could draw on. In essence, Schweizer joins them, not changing their interaction dynamic, but intensifying it. Her deeply rhythmic playing complements their joint rhythms perfectly – more so, to be truthful, than some other pianists with whom they have collaborated – and at points in their trios they amalgamate into a single being, a will unfolding in real time. The South African motifs that creep in from Schweizer are unexpectedly complements to Anderson’s splintered and hybridized modal lines, underscored by Drake’s sensitive frame-drumming or explosive drum-set.
Irène Schweizer: Piano
Fred Anderson: Saxophone
Hamid Drake: Drums
Music by Irène Schweizer, Fred Anderson, Hamid Drake except 1 by Irène Schweizer and Hamid Drake. Recorded August 28, 2004 at Jazzfestival Willisau by Schweizer Radio DRS2 and March, 28, 1998 at Taktlos-Festival Zürich. Producer Radio DRS: Peter Bürli. Engineer: Martin Pearson. Engineer taktlos: Jeroen Visser. Mixed and mastered by Martin Pearson, 2006. Cover art: Niklaus Troxler. Graphic design: Jonas Schoder. Liner notes: John Corbett. Photos: Francesca Pfeffer. Produced, published and copyright by Intakt Records. Executive production: Patrik Landolt