Review: Yves Theiler Trio - House of Switzerland

Left to right - Yves Theiler, Valentin Dietrich, Lukas Mantel
Photo Credit: Roger Thomas

Yves Theiler Trio
(Zurich Sounds series at the House of Switzerland, Glaziers Hall SE1. Review by Rob Edgar)

Thursday night saw two sets from the  Yves Theiler Trio, the third concert in the jazz series of the Zurich Sounds Festival.

The trio, in their mid to late twenties, are relatively little known over here, which made it more of a delight and a surprise to find that the band comprises of three musicians of  considerable calibre.

Their music featured an intense blend of improvisation and composition but the most pervading element of the night was the overall clarity of the music. Theiler has said “when music has energy, honesty and clarity, the audience will be with you”

With him we were, especially during the last tune of the night Square - a vast piece that started with some incredibly musical playing by drummer Lukas Mantel who utilised every nuance and shade he could get from his drums including some fantastic rim-shots and cross rhythms. He came to the drums fairly late in life, starting his musical career as a hip-hop DJ. This may be what allows him to keep up with Yves Theiler’s rhythmically complex and demanding compositions.



Yves Theiler. Photo credit: Roger Thomas


Theiler gave himself some really challenging lines to play, there were a few points where he would be playing in two different time signatures at the same time, his rich harmony and occasional “notes of added resonance” were supported well by bassist Valentin Dietrich, a bassist of superb taste and restraint, he kept the music grounded throughout.

There was also humour in the mix last night; Theiler added a slight reworking of Westminster Quarters (better known as the sequence played by the bells of Big Ben) to the last piece, set against the backdrop of the Thames, at the House of Switzerland, in London seemed to neatly sum up the night as a whole.

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