John Tchicai - Irene Schweizer Group Willi The Pig

This is one of the more jazz-oriented releases of late from John Corbett's Unheard Music Series. Willi the Pig was released for an eye blink in 1976 by Willsau Live Records, documenting this group's performance at the Willsau festival. This disc represents the entire set broken into parts one and two. There are prolonged periods that sound like Coltrane, circa '67, here. Tchicai is not as fast as Trane, but creates angular melodies on soprano sax that recalls his prime influence. He spends more than 20 minutes in the uppermost octaves of the soprano without sounding strident, then goes on to create soulful sounds with the lower register of his alto. Schweizer is mixed into the background, but as the concert progresses, she tears into solo statements that recall Lennie Tristano and Bill Evans. Bassist Buschi Niebergall fits in well with Schweizer's deliberate cadence. One unintentionally cool thing about this disc is the appearance of what could best be described as dub effects, which spike the recording during peak moments of the music. There's some kind of weird phase shift with the live microphones, which psychedelises what's going on, making proceedings all the more intense. (Atavistic)