Arranged and led by George Gruntz, with a top class 11-piece ensemble featuring Bruno Spoerri, Hans Kennel, Raymond Droz, Pierre Cavalli and the young Franco Ambrosetti in one of his first recorded appearances, “Swiss All-Stars” is excellent a modern jazz session of the Swiss jazz elite from September 1964 in Berlin.
This is a sought after concert recording including unique tunes like Spoerri’s “Boy Shooting” or Bigler’s “Dig The Scene” mixed with great versions of American classics like Mobley’s “El Sino” or Tizol’s “Perdido”.
A rare 2LP set (pressed in an amount of 300 copies) released on the Swiss Exlibris label in 1964 and available by subscription only is now available on CD for the first time.
Original Liner Notes by Lance Tschannen (1964):
“Swiss All-Stars! … After federally modest terms perhaps a little high-flown title. And yet they all deserve this designation, the twelve Swiss jazz soloists who came together last fall for the first time in order to play three concerts in Basel, Bern and Zurich for showcasing their collective skills. They are worthy representatives of a Swiss jazz elite that deserves to not have their light under a bushel.
You know, for example, that not less than five Swiss currently belong to the best drummers in Europe and work in Paris (Daniel Humair and Peter Giger), Munich (Pierre Favre), Cologne (Stuff Combe) and Stuttgart (Charlie Antolini) with great success? These five jazz musicians are certainly not the only ones that are better known outside our borders, than in their own country!
In Switzerland, the Jazz is largely treated as a hobby, with all the advantages and disadvantages, which brings that fact to himself. The demand for jazz in our country is relatively modest, and for the professional musician, therefore, often left with no other choice than to try his luck abroad. On the other hand, there is probably no other country in Europe where the level of amateur jazz is as high as in Switzerland. More than 100 formations wanted to participate in the Amateur Jazz Festival 1964 in Zurich, large and small bands of any style that – in general – had to offer very positive benefits.
For this festival the most of our Swiss All-Stars also emerged as laureates. This album should therefore represent not only an account of the skill of Swiss top jazz musicians, but also an encouragement for those who will be the jazz elite in Switzerland tomorrow.