Reto Suhner Quartet Easy

Reto Suhner Quartet Easy Album Artwork
Reto Suhner Reeds. Voice.
Philip Henzi Piano.
Dominic Egli Bass.
Silvan Jeger Drums.
Karin Karinna Bühler Artwork.



Easy? Depending on how one looks at it! Reto Suhner definitively did not switch to easy listening jazz! But there are long sections on the new album of his quartet, which present themselves immensely light footed; an enthusiastic listener cannot but feel that the band grooves on the floor and floats in the clouds at the same time. Easy? Depending on how one looks at it! This agile, wide awake, but anything but streamlined interplay of this half a decade existing band is the result of a process consciously encouraged by Reto Suhner; a process with which two goals are being pursued. On the one hand, a flexible group dynamic with various possibilities for spontaneous interactions is being pursued. On the other hand, compositions and improvisations are not strictly separated from each other, but they are assimilated – e.g. by opening up spaces within a written piece or by «instant composing». Suhner says: «The idea of the moment or coincidences play an important role.»

Easy? Depending on how one looks at it! Suhner (saxophone), Philip Henzi (keys), Silvan Jeger (bass) and Dominic Egli (drums); these four musicians are not misled by the paradox of jazz, but are inspired by it: Jazz is most perfect when it does not aspire to be perfect, but is open to error and handles it creatively. After all it is valid to ask: If in jazz, it is even possible to make mistakes. Monk said: «Wrong is right.» And Suhner asks an important question: «If music were a reflection of society or of life and if music can transport „felt time“ (Steffen Schorn), how perfect can/ should/ has to be music in that case?» Suhner & co. are no hard-boiled «jazz managers», but «jazz philosophers» and «jazz adventurers». They are a team, which emphasises individual freedom, while each of them carries equal responsibility. This balancing act is only possible with mutual trust.

Easy? Depending on how one looks at it! The quartet extemporises on the basis of compositions, which deviate more are less from the standard model (and because a studio recording is not a concert, there are some overdub tasty titbits). The ballad «Portrait of Jennie», which is the title melody of a Hollywood movie from 1948 and which Suhner has equipped with new harmonies, appears to be the most ordinary track. In his compositions Suhner operates with completely different gimmicks. That «Alles» develops a knock-on effect reminding of Coltrane, is not a coincidence, as it is a combination of «Coltrane Changes» («26-2») with odd-time signatures. «Second Thoughts» evolved from an exercise with minor scales, which Suhner does not use often: Challenging his listening habits, he finds fresh solutions. In «Illusion: Colour», a pulse is dissected in different time signatures. But more important than explaining the functioning of pieces of music is realising that one does not have to know what is happening to recognize that the Reto Suhner Quartet produces music in an unorthodox, yet organic way. For people, who love the jazz tradition but also love to be surprised, this quartet is the perfect match: They are moving forward, but do not forget to look in the rear-vision mirror every now and then.

PS Reto Suhner also likes books. The titles «Die Schlafende Acht» (The Sleeping Eight) and «Das Menschliche Moment» (The Human Momentum) are borrowed from books by the Swiss writer Hans Boesch (1926-2003). With the novels «Der Sog» (The Slipstream), «Der Bann» (The Spell), «Der Kreis» (The Circle) and «Schweben» (Hovering) Boesch created an important tetralogy of novels.

Tom Gsteiger


Release Date 2015


"Pay what you want" for the whole album, there are three downloads to choose: 88kHz24Bit, AAC, AIFF, MP3. You’ll get also the booklet for your own CD.

Easy (88kHz24Bit).zip 1.6GB
Easy (AAC).zip 113MB
Easy (Aiff).zip 522MB
Easy (MP3).zip 79MB