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Baker's Dozen

No Borders, No Boundaries: Eugene Robinson On His Favourite Albums
John Doran , January 14th, 2019 07:40

The Oxbow frontman, MMA prize fighter and occasional guest writer for tQ, presents a stunning 13 LPs for your perusal, ranging from baritone vocal jazz and noise rock to ecstatic easy listening. John Doran takes notes


Irene Schweizer - Piano Solo Vol. 1

I was in catering backstage at a festival in Berne talking to Oxbow’s old tour manager right after doing vocals for this band called Steamboat Switzerland. My attitude to the set was, ‘Free jazz. Yeah, I get it. I kind of dig it. Right. But is there any free jazz that isn’t noisy?’ And he pointed at someone and replied: ‘Yeah, she makes it.’ And Irene Schweizer was there, this old lady with grey hair who waved at us. He sent me a bunch of her music but I didn’t really listen to it. Then I got this fellowship in Marseilles to write this play, The Inimitable Sounds Of Love: A Threesome In Four Acts and I listened to nothing but Schweizer. There had been some language confusion and I thought they were providing food and board but it turned out it was just board - who gives someone a place to stay and doesn’t fucking feed them? - so I just fasted. And after a few days I was just getting cold and dizzy, ensconced in this room, writing to Schweizer and it was revelatory. Her music takes the ethos of free jazz and slows it down.