Schweizer Holz Trio Love Letters to the President

Three horn players in a free-improv setting far too often overplay at the expense of each musicians' musicality. That's why Love Letters to the President comes as such a welcome surprise. Instead of nearly an hour of "skronk, blat, shriek" the threesome deliver pensive tone poems with loving attention to dynamics and sensuous sub-tone. Hans Koch's bass clarinet provides, beside the obligatory yelps and elephant-isms, intimate, breathy drones as the backdrop to Urs Leimgruber's restrained saxophonics and Omri Zeigele's theatrical vocalizing. Particularly strong is "Letter II," which opens with Leimgruber double-tonguing his snaking tenor lines and Koch's tailgating responses. "Somehow Brighter Sky" makes four dimensions seem too limiting, as the shifting, interpenetrating multi-phonics and altissimo whistles embrace each other, separate and dissolve with mysterious grace. Three horn improvisers at the top of their game. (Intakt)