Wed Jan. 31, 2024

Daniel Humair / Samuel Blaser / Heiri Känzig 'Helveticus' (CH)

Samuel Blaser: trombone
Heiri Känzig: bass
Daniel Humair: drums

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Helveticus: Humair Blaser Känzig
Three generations of top Swiss jazz musicians from three different part of the country, Daniel Humair, Samuel Blaser, and Heiri Känzig, form a new trio which promises to stimulate the interest of both amateurs and curious people. The title of the album, 1291, is a wink to the Federal Charter, one of the earliest constitutional documents of Switzerland that eventually became the founding document of Switzerland.

Daniel Humair sculpts the tempo on drums just as he paints his paintings. Inventive and attentive to the interaction between his companions, he produces a game where finesse and energy alternate. Samuel Blaser, who is first and foremost a melodist, is an important, relatively new voice on his instrument who boasts gifts as a mature but curious bandleader and composer.

Heiri Känzig is better known on the international jazz scene than by the Swiss public. Though this double bass player has never sought out the attention of the broad masses, his humble attitude and musical talent are extremely convincing.

Blaser’s robust tone and wide-swinging improvisation is framed by the organic tumult of Känzig and Humair's interlocking rhythm. Between breath, strings and sticks, slides, wood and skins, an alchemy is born which, through inspiration and creativity transforms the sound into moments of pure poetry.

„They could be grandfather, father and son: Drummer Daniel Humair, bassist Heiri Känzig and trombonist Samuel Blaser. They are 85, 66 and 42 years old; yet the three musicians meet here at eye level - in a wide-awake conversation that combines tradition and modernity, lyricism and drama, intimacy and wit. All three are not only masters of their instruments, but also bandleaders and composers of distinction. In these capacities, but also as sidemen, they are recognized and well connected in the global jazz community. In 2020, the all-star trio made its debut with the album "1291"; the title alludes to the year from which the Bundesbrief, Switzerland's oldest constitutional document, dates. Now the band presents a convincing second album with "Our Way".
The new album follows a similar concept as its predecessor: it again includes original compositions, jazz standards as well as arrangements of Swiss folk songs from different parts of the country. But the trio's interplay - due to its numerous performances since then - has become even tighter, the three musicians can interact even more spontaneously and imaginatively. That's why they also felt like substantially expanding their tried and tested setlist, which was essentially based on the first album, once again.“ (Manfred Papst, „Auf dem fliegenden Teppich“, translated, Sept. 2023)