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MGB Records (Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund)



Paralpin - Röseligarte
Patricia DRAEGER
Aufzug [4:04]
Nimbus [5:48]
Trad. Arr. DRAEGER

Ich habe meis Müetli fast alles verloren [6:14] *
Härz mis Härz Du bruchsch nid z’truure [7:27]
Gueti Nacht mis Liebeli [5:49] *
De Haslibacher [6:03] *
Ich gieng emale bei der Nacht [6:41] *
Mis Lieb isch gar wilt inne [4:48] *
Patricia DRAEGER
Joliduli [5:36]
Trad. Arr. DRAEGER
Schönster Abestärn [6:24] *
Egosuissemousse  [4:17]
* from Der Röseligarten, edited Otto von Greyerz (1850)
Paralpin: Patricia Draeger (accordion, flute, vocal); Sergej Simbirev (accordeon, schweizerörgeli, vocal); Daniel Häusler (clarinet, bass-clarinet, vocal); Marc Draeger (vibraphone, marimbaphone, percussion, vocal); Christoph Mächler (double bass, electric bass, jew’s harp, vocal); Marc Halbheer (percussion, vocal)
rec. Altdorf, Switzerland, 17 August 2003

Patricia Draeger’s band ‘Paralpin’ brings together a number of musicians who are steeped in the traditions of Swiss folk music, but who have played in a huge range of musical contexts – jazz, classical, world music and pop. Here they bring their talents to bear on music from an old collection of traditional melodies and songs as well as on original compositions. The results, recorded live at a concert as part of the ‘Alpentöne’ Festival, are delightfully entertaining, full of unexpected twists and turns.

I have, above, listed the old collection of Swiss-German folksongs just as it is referred to in the CD booklet. But I think there must be an error here. The relevant book is surely that put together by the poet Otto von Greyerz, born in 1863, and published as In Röseligarte in 1908. But let’s not worry about such details, which matter much less than what is made of some of the book’s contents on this new CD. The material taken from von Greyerz’ collection is treated in a free, but not disrespectful, fashion. New melodies develop from the old ones, improvisation is allowed to flourish. Stand-out tracks include ‘Ich habe meis Müetli fast alles verloren’ which begins quietly on unaccompanied marimba, to which accordion and clarinet make later contributions; almost hypnotic in its slow instrumental interplay, the clarinet of Daniel Häusler makes some particularly beautiful contributions before the piece returns to the solo marimba of Marc Draeger. On ‘Gueti Nacht mis Liebeli’ the work of bassist Christoph Mächler and drummer Marc Halbheer is outstanding, their subtle, spring rhythms carrying forward without difficulty some quite complex instrumental textures above them. ‘Mis Lieb isch gar wilt inne’ frames what sounds almost like free improvisation with some decorously neat rehearsals of the original tune. On ‘Schönster Abestärn’ a delicate unpretentious vocal by Patricia Draeger complements the elegance of the instrumental work.

The same variety and inventiveness characterises the original tracks. ‘Joliduli’ is joyous near-jazz and ‘Nimbus’ mixes compulsively foot-tapping passages, with quieter episodes deeply rooted in Swiss traditions. ‘Aufzug’ alludes to the traditions of yodelling and other Swiss traditions, while reinventing them playfully and wittily; ‘Egosuissemousse’ boasts insistent rhythms, dazzling accordion playing, superlative drumming, impassioned clarinet work and a wild conclusion.

When, in her booklet notes, Patricia Draeger writes of this recording that “the joy of the musicians in playing and experimenting together is obvious” it might seem like nothing more than the usual polite compliment to be found in such a context. But it is very definitely true – there is a powerful sense of joyous involvement on every track of this CD, a joy I had little trouble in sharing as a mere listener.

Glyn Pursglove


MGB Records (Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund)





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