IN TRANSIT

Jürg Solothurnmann, saxes
Michael Jefry Stevens, piano
Daniel Studer, contrabass
Dieter Ulrich, drums

ITRDRSThe four musicians can build up on a broad experience with various forms, mentalities and stylistic directions (from blues and post bop to free chamber music and ethnic styles) to which they refer in an intuitive and open manner - but without pre-composed material. Nevertheless, the free improvisations must be coherent, because freedom does not mean the absence of form, but rather an immediate design - similar to a conversation or a free speech. Ideas that appear are registered and used spontaneously as the thematic material and subject of the current event. Often, the results resemble small compositions. - This is a music with a broad dynamic range, sometimes outgoing and emotional and sometimes lyrical and minimalist.

The Bernese saxophonist Jürg Solothurnmann and the far-travelled New Yorker pianist Michael Jefry Stevens are friends since several years. When Stevens expressed great interest in the collective concept and methods of Solothurnmann, they founded In Transit with two likeminded Swiss friends. The band name says it all: They meet when Stevens visits Europe, and the jazz-related music is completely improvised. It comes and goes in the moment.

Michael Jefry Stevens was born in New York City in 1951, is a long time member of the scenes of NYC and Memphis, TN. He currently resides in Asheville NC. He is active in the vast field between advanced post bop, unusual song writing and free music and has recorded well over 50 CDs of his original music and currently performs and regularly tours Europe with the Fonda/Stevens Group, The Conference Call Quartet, Stevens-Siegel-Ferguson Trio, The Griffith/Stevens Quartet, Sorgen-Rust-Stevens Trio and many other musical projects. He has collaborated with such notable musicians as Dave Douglas, Han Bennnik, Leo Smith, Mark Feldman, Herb Robertson, Dom Minasi, Valery Ponamerov, Cecil Bridgewater, Pheeroan Aklaff, Peter Herbert, Gebhard Ullmann and many more. Also with In Transit, Stevens doesn’t hide his wide and intimate experience with various jazz styles but is able to surprise his colleges and listeners with unusual inventions and turns at any time. He likes in particular the musical exchange with Europeans.
"A monster player...a composite of styles....busy, powerful (Harrisburg Sunday Patriot News).
Michael Jefry Stevens

IRTEschenThis suits Jürg Solothurnmann very well who has always preferred a middle way. More recently, his music dealt often with instant composition, new alternative forms and free improvisation, the relations between speech, the voice and the instrument as well as ethnic styles from Asia, the Balkans and Africa.

Dieter Ulrich (born 1958) is one of the most versatile and sought after drummers in Switzerland and a big adept of jazz history. Perhaps because first the classical piano was his major instrument for long time, he has a keen ear and a special sense of structure and sound. A graduated art historian, he resides in Zürich. In the 1980’s Ulrich was on the road after all with Urs Blöchlinger, Werner Lüdi and Bob Mover. He has written, performed and composed several extended multimedia performances and chamber operas for a variety of theatre ensembles. But after all, he has performed, recorded and toured the world from Novosibirsk to Madagascar, from Bangalore to Vancouver and from Albuquerque to Chicago. Dieter Ulrich appears on over 40 CDs with artists such as Urs Blöchlinger, Werner Lüdi, Tom Varner, E.L. Petrowsky, Vinny Golia, David Taylor, Oliver Lake and many Swiss musicians from various musical camps.

Daniel Studer (born 1961) has a very energetic virtuoso approach to bass playing expanding the conventional techniques in order to get a broad range of sounds. Born in 1961, he studied classical double bass and composition in Rome (1981-95). Living and teaching in Zürich he feels at home in the intermediate zone of new/free jazz and modern classical music. In addition, he studied composition with J. Schöllhorn, was a guest composer at the Electronic Studio Basel and created music for video-poems, with texts, for dance projects and music installations. His major improvising projects are a bass duo with Peter K Frey, a string trio with Harald Kimmig and Alfred Zimmerlin, the Trio III-VII-XII with Mischa Käser and Urs Haenggli und a duo with Katharina Klement. Daniel has appeared with various groups in several European countries and Japan playing also with Italians such as Eugenio Colombo, Riccardo Lay, Riccardo Fassi, Paolo Fresu, Antonello Salis, Sebi Tramontana and Massimo Urbani, Americans like Lester Bowie, Steve Grossmann, Barney Kessel, Tony Scott und Mike Melillo and Europeans like Harald Kimmig, Hans Koch, Joëlle Léandre, Evan Parker, Irene Schweizer, Jürg Solothurnmann, Michael Jefry Stevens, Co Streiff, Urs Voerkel, Chris Wiesendanger, Christian Wolfarth und Omri Ziegele.. – Studer is an associate professor of several music universities in Switzerland.
Daniel Studer

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