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Tree Ear (Strinning / Troller / Hemingway): Witches Butter (Clean Feed)

After percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway migrated to Luzern, Switzerland he joined forces with the creative improvising community in that city, in particular with guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning, the trio taking the name Tree Ear, blending free and idiomatic improv in bold, uncommon and spellbinding ways.

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product information:

UPC: 5609063004380

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF438CD
Squidco Product Code: 25201

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Bau 4, in Altburon, Switzerland, on February 27th and 28th, 2016, by Gerry Hemingway.


Sebastian Strinning-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet

Manuel Troller-guitar

Gerry Hemingway-drums, voice

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Artist Biographies:

"The Swiss, Swedish dual citizen Sebastian Strinning was born on June 1, 1985, and grew up in Othmarsingen (AG / CH). At age 9, he received the first saxophone lessons. When he started his first band at the age of 16, and spent hours jamming in a bandroom, he began to practice the music more seriously. Since then he has been involved in a variety of projects, and has toured several times in Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Spain.

From 2006 to 2013 he studies music at the Lucerne University of Music. He took u. a. Urs Leimgruber, Gerry Hemingway, Hans Koch, John Voirol and Fredrik Ljungkvist teachings, while at the same time he was increasingly concerned with free improvisation and contemporary jazz. In 2011 he received a scholarship from the Friedl - Wald Foundation and went on a search for clues for a year in Stockholm. He worked extensively on Swedish folk music and worked closely with free improvising musicians of the Stockholm scene. Since 2013 he also organizes concerts in the Mullbau, and plays with Gerry Hemingway and Manuel Troller in the Trio Tree Ear. In 2014 he won the CS Jazzförderpreis with his solo project and, together with Marc Unternährer, curates the new series Tuesdays_Jazz at the Kleintheater Luzern.

Sebastian Strinning plays with Gerry Hemingway, Lauren Newton, Joachim Badenhorst, Christoph Baumann, Hämi Hämmerli, Gabriela Friedli, Christian Weber, Marc Unternährer, Hanspeter Pfammatter, Markus Lauterburg, Thomas KJ Mejer, Manuel Troller, Audrey Lauro, Hugo Antunes and many more together."

-Sebastian Strinning Website (Translated by Google) (

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"Manuel Troller (*1986, Lucerne, Switzerland), guitarist and composer, is actively working in diverse musical genres. Since 2006, he plays and composes with the internationally active Band Schnellertollermeier - who plays music without compromises, ranging from modern composition, minimal music and improv to brute rock music - but feels just as home in Pop. Through pushing the boundaries on his instrument with preparations, extended techniques, sound manipulation and a fine sense for the moment, he became one of the most demanded guitar players in Switzerland. Manuel Troller studied with musicians such as Frank Möbus, Christy Doran and Fred Frith at the School of Music Lucerne, Switzerland.

He has collaborated with Sophie Hunger, Gerry Hemingway, Nik Bärtsch, Julian Sartorius, Stephan Eicher, Merz, Ensemble for New Music Zurich, Christian Weber, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Hans Koch, Michael Fehr, Christoph Erb among others.

Recent Solo performances include Café OTO London, Bad Bonn Kilbi, B-Sides Festival (Featured Artist), Bee-Flat Berne, Südpol Lucerne, Klappfon Basel as well as double bills with Marc Ribot, Lee Ranaldo, Tetuzi Akiyama & Alan Licht among others.

Other Festivals and concerts include Montreux Jazz Festival, Glastonbury Festival, Olympia Paris, Haldern Pop Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Schauspielhaus Zurich, Bad Bonn Kilbi, Enjoy Jazz Festival Mannheim, Internationale Theaterhaus Jazztage Stuttgart, 12 Points Festival, Les Eurockéennes Belfort, Jazzfestival Skopje, EFG Jazz Festival London, The Vortex London, Swiss Diagonales Jazz, Jazzfestival Schaffhausen etc."

-Manuel Troller Website (

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"Gerry Hemingway has led a number of quartet and quintets since the mid 1980's. In addition he has been a member of a wide array of long standing collaborative groups including Brew with Reggie Workman and Miya Masaoka, the GRH trio with Georg Graewe and Ernst Reijseger, the WHO trio with Michel Wintsch and Bänz Oester, as well as numerous duo projects with Thomas Lehn, John Butcher, Ellery Eskelin, Marilyn Crispell, and others. Mr. Hemingway is a Guggenheim fellow and has received numerous commissions for chamber and orchestral works as well as being noted for his innovative and multifaceted work as a solo performer which began in 1974. He was a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet between 1983 and 1994 and is also well known for his collaborations with some of the world's most outstanding improvisers and composers including Evan Parker, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Anthony Davis, Derek Bailey, Leo Smith and many others. He currently lives in Switzerland having joined the faculty of the Hochschule Luzern in 2009."

-Gerry Hemingway Website (

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track listing:

1. Range of Hands 8:36

2. Third Man Walking 6:33

3. Witches Butter 5:58

4. Big Blind 3:23

5. Drag Light 4:48

6. Kill Button 6:44

7. Reraise 6:04
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"In 2009 American percussionist and composer Gerry Hemingway relocated in Luzern, Switzerland, and found himself in a thriving community of musicians and artists with whom he has forged new relationships. Chief among those relationships are the guitarist Manuel Troller and saxophonist and bass clarinetist Sebastian Strinning. As a group they began exploring their collective invention in 2013 in Luzern. Now Tree Ear offers the international community an inspired crystallization and synthesis of their musical thinking in the powerful debut Witches Butter.

As the cover and the titles reveal the stakes and the willingness to take risks are high and consequently the results for us to hear are compelling and breathtaking. Hemingway, Troller and Strinning recognize the value and importance of being fluent in non-idiomatic as well as idiomatic musical vocabularies, all of which play a role in the content of what you hear presented in this exciting new release.

Hemingway is familiar to many Clean Feed listeners from his prolific manifestations as a composer, percussionist and improvisor. He is restless in his desire to explore new territories of artistic creation and with that continually forging new relations in his expanding artistic community. He as well believes in and maintains long and rich musical relationships over many years such as BassDrumBone which celebrates it's 40th anniversary in 2017."-Clean Feed

Also available on vinyl LP.
Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Trio Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

Other Releases With These Artists:
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