Escape Argot – You. Me. Them. (2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 49:48 minutes | 857 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Traumton
In March 2018, Escape Argot released the prominently cast Swiss trio to drummer Christoph Steiner (known from the band Hildegard learns to fly), his first joint album. Still Writing Letters enjoyed a very positive international response. The Confederation of Bern praised the “playful improvisational joke” of the “daring and enormously agile trio” and Bird Is The Worm was stunned to hear, “How suddenly they’re ready to shift into the most delicate phrasing, making the transition seem as natural as thunder to lightning, pressure into peace. “Jazzzeitung. de: Due to their strong, homogeneous interaction, Escape Argot creates a very special sound, which unites musical opposites, grooving in a dreamlike way, determined by lyrical themes to soulful, unbridled improvisations. “And the Badische Zeitung from Freiburg stated:” Complex grammar and disarming directness, cleverly constructed textures and winning melos […] Escape Argot manages the feat of seemingly transforming disparates into a homogenous overall sound. ”
You. Me. Them., The second work, builds on the proven concept and refines it. The energy level is similar, but Escape Argot can still grow dynamically. Christoph Steiner had already paid particular attention to this aspect when writing the new pieces. Consistently, the range now ranges from lyrical, almost melancholy-inspired passages, such as in the play The Remains Of Lightness, to the lingering restraint in Get That Poison Off That Tongue, to powerfully gripping crescendos, which are predominantly improvised. Some titles start relatively quiet, but gain in volume and tempo over time. As on the debut album, the music, whose immediate charisma can inspire rock fans, always takes on adventurous journeys. Intentionally, the pieces at their end do not necessarily return to the starting point, they strike surprising hooks on the way or can be happily shaken on uneven terrain.
Inspired by the interaction in concerts, the band has further refined their characteristic sound. Striking is, for example, how pianist Florian Favre is inspired by composer Steiner to sometimes go to extremes. For example, when he pounding the keys in seemingly full physical strength in Never Enough Not Enough massive staccati and cascades. At the other end of his sound spectrum are passages in which Favre evokes his knowledge of European classicism and modernity. At times, the clairvoyant pianist, born in 1986 in Friborg, plays with one hand bass lines on the Moog synthesizer. These are important for the distinctive band sound, but they remain so pleasantly restrained in the mix that no suspicion arises, so Escape Argot wanted to approach a zeitgeist.
Christoph Steiner generally composes on the piano, his differentiated pieces are never drum-centered despite individual groove aesthetics (and a percussion solo in plutimization). Instead, they create exciting and detailed encounters at eye level. The fact that he “left more time and dig deeper” while writing this time describes the Swiss vintage socialized with rock and hip-hop, Miles Davis and John Coltrane in 1980 as a natural development. This “immersion work” is essential for You. Me. Them., Especially as she also included Florian Favre and Christoph Grab in different ways. Both brought their own ideas during the development process, some of the pieces contained on the album got their final face over six months through live performances. Others, however, were spontaneously rearranged during the two and a half studio days. The communication within the trio works long ago intuitively. After all, Steiner and Favre already knew each other from the university in Bern. At the beginning of Escape Argot 2015, Steiner brought the saxophonist and live electronic musician Christoph Grab, who is now much older than 52 years old, to “move into a new situation.” The Zurich actor played in the past with Ray Anderson, Irène Schweizer, Mark Egan, Danny Gottlieb u. a., showed determination and wit with his project Science Fiction Theater and is widely praised for his band Raw Vision (among others with Ronny Graupe). On You. Me. Them. Grab focuses on tenor and alto saxophone and impresses with a variable tonal language that ranges from fast-moving and melodic tones over rhythmic-edged phrasing to jumpy, harsh expressions.
01. The Remains of Lightness
02. Allowing (The Pride Question Mark)
04. Get That Poison off That Tongue
05. Absent Ascent
06. What Fuel
08. Part of the Solution
09. Never Enough Not Enough
10. Whatever the Outcome