The Squid's Ear Magazine

Schwerdt, Oliver

Prestige / No Smoking [2CDs]

Schwerdt, Oliver: Prestige / No Smoking [2CDs] (Euphorium)

A double CD of pianist, Euphorium label-leader and EUPHORIUM_freakestra leader Oliver Schwerdt in a double CD of solo recordings in the studio in Leipzig, 3 extended improvisations and 1 concise piece titled "Prestige" I & II and "No Smoking" I & II, remarkably concentrative work displaying an acute and extraordinarily inventive approach to improvisation.
 

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Oliver Schwerdt-grand piano


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Jewel case double CD, includes 2 booklets, a 4-page insert, and a 26-page booklet with a "Conversation with Myself" by Oliver Schwerdt in German & English.

Label: Euphorium
Catalog ID: EUPH 053
Squidco Product Code: 30732

Format: 2 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Germany
Packaging: Jewel Tray Box w/ booklet
Recorded in Leipzig, Germany, on June 2nd, 2015, by Torsten Schroth.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Now Oliver Schwerdt, long-term leader of the miraculous EUPHORIUM_freakestra formerly coming up with such illustrious pseudonyms as Birg Borgenthal, Elan Pauer and Ra Ra da Boff introduces himself on behalf of his civil name as a stakeholder in the art of piano solo. After his adventurous collaborations with as many as ten (!) masters of contemporarily improvised music which, form Barre Phillips to Robert Landfermann, released influential unaccompanied solo records during the currency of six decades Schwerdt's approach is nothing less than to perform an arc of tension lasting about three quarters of an hour - only on the keys.

At the same moment the double album Prestige/No Smoking is presenting a colourful celebration of a multiplicity of jazz historical hints and philosophical excursions. In his magnificent liner notes Schwerdt tells us not only about his experience of one of the last vast rolls of Fred van Hove. He also has written a piece on the prominent role of Alexander von Schlippenbach at an almost secret concert date. Discussing the apex between the Maritime and Musical Model Schwerdt sums up with a far reaching line of the respective Deleuze/ Guattari poetry considering the continuous development of form: "it is the fusion of harmony and melody in favor of the production of properly rhythmic values, the pure act of drawing of a diagonal across the vertical and the horizontal." "-Euphorium



"So far we met Oliver Schwerdt two times in the Vital Weekly columns, as a member of the Old Luten Quintet with veteran Ernst Ludwig Petrowsky. So far this ended up in two CDs released on Schwerdt's own Euphorium-label, but another release is to be expected in this series. However Schwerdt, a German jazz musician, improviser, musicologist and journalist, from Eisenach living nowadays in Leipzig, is already in the scene for a while. In 1999 for example he started his own Euphorium Freakastra. He uses several pseudonyms like Birg Borgental, Elan Pauer and the Dada-inspired name Ra Ra Da Boff. As a musicologist he wrote the extensive work 'Große Monografie zu Günter Baby Sommer und zum Räumlichen in der Musik', a theoretical work on free jazz drummer Sommer. After releasing albums on his own Euphorium label for about ten years, playing with Axel Dörner, Leo Smith, Barre Philips and many others, time has come now for a first solo effort: 'Prestige/No smoking', an impressive double CD-recording. Paralleled by a second solo release for the Portuguese Creative Sources Recordings. 'Prestige/ No Smoking' was recorded on june 2nd, 2015 in Leipzig. Two days later the recordings for 'Yamaha/Speed' were made, having Schwerdt more or less in the same flow, shape and condition I suppose. Torsten Schroth excellently recorded both sessions in the same studio with Schwerdt playing on a Yamaha CFX. A first difference between the two releases: an extensive booklet accompanies the double CD with liner notes by Schwerdt, where as these are completely absent in her other release. Liner notes have Schwerdt interviewing himself, a quasi dialogue with and by himself. Is his solo improvisation also a kind of (quasi) dialogue, or is monologue the more fitting term? One would say monologue, the more the recordings were made in the studio without the interaction with a public. But in the end I would say the term 'inner dialogue' is the most descriptive one. The double CD offers two lengthy and lively piano improvisations: 'Prestige'(41:13) and 'No Smoking'(48:26). I don't know if this is Schwerdt's normal time span. But two solo improvisations of over 40 minutes is quite an exercise. Also for the listener it is a long journey. But time passed by quickly, listening to these eloquent improvisations. He propels his improvisations full-energy forward, in a playful manner. It is one continuous overwhelming stream, with changes in speed, dynamics and intensity. Moments of silence are rare. Sometimes one-hand contrasts with what the other one is doing. At other moments they supplement one other in building and weaving giant structures. References to classical music and jazz are never too obvious. For this reason I compare him with Fred van Hove, of whom I recently reviewed a duo effort with Roger Turner. Where van Hove often plays the inside of the piano, Schwerdt keeps his fingers on the piano manual, not using so-called extended techniques. While listening I never had the feeling of 'why doing this and not something else'. The music follows a strong inner logic. Same experience I had with his improvisations on 'Yamaha/Speed'. Improvisations are shorter here, but of a similar style. Exciting music, played with spirit and enthusiasm by a gifted musician who knows well tradition and has his own story to tell."-Dolf Mulder


Jewel case double CD, includes 2 booklets, a 4-page insert, and a 26-page booklet with a "Conversation with Myself" by Oliver Schwerdt in German & English.

Get additional information at Vital Weekly

Artist Biographies

"Oliver Schwerdt (born 13 November 1979) is a German musicologist and musician (piano, percussion) in the field of free improvisation.

Born in Eisenach, Schwerdt attended school in Eisenach until his university entrance qualification and received classical piano lessons at the municipal music school there. He did his military service as a piano accompanist in the training music corps of the German armed forces. He began his studies of music and cultural sciences as well as art history at the Leipzig University in 1999 and completed them in 2006 with a master's thesis on Georg Simmel and Dadaism submitted to Klaus Christian Köhnke [de]. In 2012 he received his doctorate from Sebastian Klotz at the Institute for Musicology at the University of Leipzig [de], for which he also worked as a lecturer. His dissertation focuses on the musical strategies of central actors in the scene of free improvised music in the wake of Free Jazz and their spatial theoretical interpretation. He has taught at the Museum of Musical Instruments of Leipzig University and with the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

From his musicological work, Schwerdt identified the challenge facing contemporary museum practice in relation to the "reinvention of the drum set combination" as they are "in European improvised music" of the 20th century became reality. He is committed to securing the "acutely endangered, historically so delicate, aesthetically highly fascinating and epistemologically valuable object complexes". the first generation of European free jazz or contemporary improvised music. As an author of music-critical articles, Schwerdt wrote for the Neue Musikzeitung, the Jazzthetik [de] and the Jazzzeitung [de], among others. He also wrote accompanying texts for albums by Günter Sommer/Wadada Leo Smith and Alexander von Schlippenbach/Evan Parker/Paul Lovens and Urs Leimgruber. In 2003 he founded the publishing house Euphorium Productions.

Since 1999 Schwerdt has been artistic director of the EUPHORIUM_freakestra, a project ensemble between contemporary improvisation, jazz, Neue Musik and theatre with Günter Sommer, Friedrich Schenker, Rudi Mahall, Paul Rutherford, Ernst-Ludwig Petrowsky, Frank Möbus, Wadada Leo Smith, Axel Dörner, Barre Phillips, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Evan Parker, Paul Lovens, Sven-Åke Johansson, Ulrich Gumpert, Manfred Hering, Dietmar Diesner, Roger Turner, Barry Guy, Akira Sakata and others worked together. At the 2009 33. Leipziger Jazztage, he performed with the project Transatlantic Freedom Suite Tentets at the Leipzig Opera.

From the project ensemble the quartet ember with Urs Leimgruber developed, Alexander Schubert and Christian Lillinger. From 2006 to 2016 Schwerdt worked with Lillinger and Petrowsky in the New Old Luten Trio. The recording of Petrowsky's late works, documented from 2013 to 2015 with the albums Tumult!, Krawall!, Rabatz! in a quintet formation expanded by the double bassists John Edwards and Robert Landfermann received great attention. With Schubert and Friedrich Kettlitz, Schwerdt operates the electrified Noise-Ensemble trnn.

In 2006, Schwerdt received the Leipzig Jazz Young Talent Scholarship of the Marion-Ermer-Foundation for his performance as pianist and ensemble leader. The critics Ken Waxman (Jazzword) and Rigobert Dittmann (Bad Alchemy) hear reminiscences of Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Cecil Taylor and Alexander von Schlippenbach in Schwerdt's piano playing.

Schwerdt uses the following pseudonyms: Edithrakneff Weinermond, Frautastem!, Ingrid Ingulfwieher, Rita Deixis, Solveig Reberp-Klamt and Elan Pauer."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Schwerdt)
2/28/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



CD1



1. (ajb'gcfh'k) 35:32

2. (i) 5:38

CD2



1. (lmo') 34:51 2. (p) 13:31

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings

Search for other titles on the label:
Euphorium.


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