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Peter Giger's Family Of Percussion - Retrospective

The Best of Peter Giger & Family Of Percussion

By Archie Shepp

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The Best of Peter Giger & Family Of Percussion. Composed by Archie Shepp, Doug Hammond, Eddy Marron, Peter Giger, Tom Nicholas, and Trilok Gurtu. Recording mediums. 2 CDs. Duration 140' 37''. MDS (Music Distribution Services) #INT 34012. Published by MDS (Music Distribution Services) (M7.INT-34012).

Item Number: M7.INT-34012

'Peter Giger is one of those musicians who bears within himself the mystery of rhythm. This percussionist, whose contribution ranks with those of Max Roach and Art Blakey as well as with greats of free jazz like Archie Shepp, gave a concert in Dakar.' (Le quotidien, Dakar, Feb. 2005)These studio recordings date from the 1974 to 1980; they were recorded in stereo in Frankfurt, Germany and the tapes were reworked in Dresden in 2006. They were originally released as LPs on Peter Giger`s independent label nagara. Twenty-five of the thirty-three titles on this CD are released here for the first time.The Family of Percussion was, essentially, the first jazz-oriented percussion ensemble, and it performed internationally for sixteen years. Everywhere they played in their early years, they inspired the founding of similar formations. 'We played at many international jazz festivals, performed as guests in more than a dozen European countries were in India, Mozambique, and South Africa, and everywhere we were admired in concert halls and clubs and showered with applause. The wild success of these years came as a total surprise; we literally opened up the floodgates. The same period also saw a powerful emergence of percussion instruments in the popular and art music worldwide', says Giger today.Until the early 1990s the Family of Percussion was on tour, including in India, with Zakir Hussain, Umayalpuram K. Shivaraman and Palgat Raghu, and twice in Mozambique, with Gito Baloi, Sergio Bore, Gerd Dudek, Michael Kuttner, and Dom Um Romao. 'During that time we were also traveling with the Senegalese group SAF SAP, and I put together various ensembles: with Victor Bailey, Christian Escoude, Thomas Heidepriem, Jasper van t'Hof, Joachim Kuhn, Christof Lauer, Harry Peppl, Burhan Ocal, Werner Pirchner, John Schroder, Steve Swallow, Tomasz Stanko, Michal Urbaniak, and Nana Vasconcelos. For several years we toured with Wolfgang Dauner and Albert Mangelsdorff as the Ensemble Moon and then with my trio with Gerd Dudek and Vitold Rek. With the great Max Roach I was fortunate to perform a duo concert in Hofheim/Germany in 1986'.In 1993 Giger moved to Eastern Germany and set up a studio there to compose electro-acoustic music. At the same time his book 'Die Kunst des Rhythmus' (The art of rhythm) was published by the Schott-Publishing house in Mainz. The Family of Percussion was in Mozambique again in 1996 and in 1999 a biographical film, 'Herr der Trommeln' (Lord of the drums), was made for television.In 2002 Peter Giger moved to Ticino, Switzerland and finally concentrated on the roots of drumming. In 2004 he made a solo tour to West Africa (Ivory Coast, Cameroon, and Senegal). In 2005 he gave a concert in Dakar with the Senegalese group Gewel Rhythm Begg Falou for the Goethe-Institut and it was enthusiastically received both by the audience and the local press: 'Peter Giger seemed to be indulging in child's play. He drummed his instrument with an energy that bubbled over and with bewildering agility. [. . .] For the white sorcerer Peter Giger, neither sound nor music has any limits.' (Le soleil, Dakar, Feb. 2005).

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