Out Of Land signals another collaborative success for ACT Records

Album: Out Of Land
Musicians: Parisien, Peirani, Schaerer, Wollny
Year of release: 2017
Label: Act

The musicians behind this interesting live album are Swiss vocalist and “mouth percussionist” Andreas Schaerer, who put the project together, German pianist Michael Wollny, and the French duo Emile Parisien, on soprano saxophone, and Vincent Peirani on accordion. Innovative, unconventional and open-minded, all four are active participants in the process of taking European jazz music to new levels.

The mutual respect in which the musicians hold each other is in evidence from the album opener Air Song as the musicians settle into each others company. Schaerer, sounding at times uncannily like Irish sean nós singer Iarla Ó Lionaird, is afforded space to test his vocal chords and display his stunning range. In the Pierani composition B&H he goes on to reveal all kinds of vocal magic
which, incidently, complimented perfectly the bird song coming in from my garden!

My top-pick of the album is probably Michael Wollny’s Kabinett V. A meditative affair it opens with reflective piano before settling into a lovely repetitive groove. When, in the latter stages, the sax joins in it brings more solidity to the ethereal shape-shifting and raises the energy levels.

Had Schaerer taken the opportunity to let fly, unrestrained, with his vocal artistry and “scat”-on-steroids this album might have lost some of its balance. Happily his voice – his quite extraordinary voice – is largely treated as simply another instrument in the mix. One can hear this in the lushly gorgeous ballad Rezeusler, composed by the singer, in which gentle accordion opening leads into vocals with barely-there sax shadowing, followed by the piano solo of the album.

For the album-closer, Ukuhamba, we witness four musicians, ties loosened and sleeves rolled up, ready to have some fun. The longest track of the five, it is loose and energetic with all four getting a chance to show off!

Out Of Land is what happens when you bring four top-of-their-game jazz musicians/composers together and let them get down to work. Producer, and ACT label boss, Siggi Loch is to be commended for not getting in the way!

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