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Saft 11:16
Moonkey 04:23
Shibusa's 01:49
Tornica 03:38
Lift 02:19
Reflex 09:05
One for Evan 03:35
Stau 07:04
Basa Buzz 07:04
Crash Cruise 07:45
Luft 02:52


Intakt CD 130

Performing with virtuosity, an intriguing variety of sounds, a blend of composed structures and improvisation, all of this happens by combining two outstanding jazz-formations: Lucas Niggli Zoom and the Basler saxophone quartet ARTE Quartett are going on a Crash Cruise. A musical Joint-Venture directed by drummer Lucas Niggli. Lucas Niggli is known for his ability to pair compositions, improvisations and different styles with his own musical ideas – and so creating complex and multifaceted music, but always keeping within his own recognisable style. The repertoire of ARTE Quartett, a formation which was founded in 1995, reaches from Arvo Pärt, Phil Glass and Steve Reich to Fred Frith and Pierre Favre. The quartet consists of four classically trained saxophone players: Beat Hofstetter, Sascha Armbruster, Andrea Formenti and Beat Kappeler. Their commitment lies with ‘Neue Musik’ and boundary-breaking stylistic cooperations and they mainly perform compositions, which were specially designed and arranged for Arte Quartett. And now they are working with Lucas Niggli and his trio.

Venerable New York City-based modern jazz saxophonist Tim Berne composed the liners for Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli’s Crash Cruise. And while both have generated a signature musical persona, the artists do share similarities due to their proclivities on various musical fronts.
With his long-running and irrefutably excitable band Zoom, the drummer reaffirms his stature as a progressive jazz motivational force via his energized comps, loaded with pulsating beats and knotty digressions. On this endeavor he aligns with the Arte Quartet, which is a saxophone unit that has performed with artists including Berne and guitar great Fred Frith. Here, the musicians align forces for a hoda gepodge of pumping polyrhythmic flows, often dappled with rapidly-paced themes.
They skirt the free realm on occasion, and take motifs down to a slow crawl in spots. However, the band doesn’t lull you into a trance-like state for long, as they often regenerate various movements into rolling and tumbling scenarios. They elicit vast degrees of imagery, whether the band seemingly navigates through forbidding terrain or partakes in rocketing choruses.
On “Shibusa’s,” Niggli pursues striking rhythmic contrasts, where the horn players lay back and then engage in frenzied choruses, leading into an Ornette Coleman-ish melody line. The instrumentalists touch upon the chamber element during the dark and ethereal “Reflex,” accentuated by guitarist Philipp Schaufelberger’s nimble and intricately engineered chord voicings. But shifts in momentum typify the band’s gait. With complex unison phrasings to complement an undercurrent built on pop, swing and zip, Niggli and associates succeed where many others fail. They merge a gamut of emotive aspects into a set that hits from a multitude of angles. Focused, and semi-structured, Niggli encapsulates history of modern music into a mark of distinction that is clearly his own.
By Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz, USA, November 2007


released January 1, 2007

Nils Wogram trombone: melodica, voice
Philipp Schaufelberger: guitar
Lucas Niggli drums: percussion
Beat Hofstetter: soprano- and tenorsax
Sascha Armbruster: alto-, soprano- and tenorsax
Andrea Formenti: tenor- and sopranosax
Beat Kappeler: bariton- and sopranosax

Recorded December 2006 and mixed Mai 2007 at Radio DRS
by Andy Neresheimer. Mastered at Oakland Studio by
Walter Schmid. Cover art: Corina Flühmann.
Grafic design: Jonas Schoder. Photo: Francesca Pfeffer. Liner notes: Tim Berne


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Lucas Niggli Uster, Switzerland

Born 1968, lives in Zürich.

As one of the most demanded European drummer and improviser, he plays in various working-bands in the field of Jazz, Rock, New Music, Noise, World and Improvisation.

He is playing on more than 60 CDs, most of them on INTAKT Records, teaches at the University of Arts in Zurich (ZHdK) and is promoter of a concertserie for contemporary music.
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