Barry Guy / Irene Schweizer / London Jazz Composers Orchestra Radio Rondo

Pianist Irene Schweizer's playing is full of zesty, affirmative declamations. Featuring muscular chording, swirling single-note passages, often with jazzy implications that transform into new music comments from, say, David Tudor's vocabulary, her solo improvisation "Schaffhausen Concert" is constantly energetic, probing and bristling with lively thoughts. Schweizer uses certain patterns that harmonically resolve, quickly shifting to more chromatic ones that blur, meld and disperse, but everything moves. She also uses shifts in rhythmic motifs, yo-yoing between spiky staccato patterns and liquefied legato passages, all to striking effect. On "Radio Rondo" by composer/bassist Barry Guy, she's joined by a 17-piece, all-star version of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra. And there are some wonderful non-London ringers in the line-up: bassist Barre Phillips, trumpeter Herb Robertson, saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and percussionist Lucas Niggli, to name a few. Guy's piece sounds dramatic, structured and well realized. It's a strong foil for the intense pianist's improv skills, and she reacts with vigorous creativity, easily negotiating the piece's various passages and densities. (Intakt)