Heinz Geisser—percussion & Guerino Mazzola—grand piano

Short Portrait of a Contemporary Jazz Duo

Foto: Manfred Ziegele

Selected Discography & e-Shop
  • MAZE
    Matt Turner violoncello
    Scott Fields electric guitar
    Guerino Mazzola grand piano
    Heinz Geisser percussion & valiha

    Quixotic Records 5002
    Mat Maneri violin viola
    Scott Fields electric guitar
    Guerino Mazzola grand piano
    Heinz Geisser percussion

    BlackSaint 120173-2

    Yuki Saga vocal
    Takayuki Kato electric guitar
    Guerino Mazzola grand piano
    Heinz Geisser percussion

    ayler records aylDL-056

    Jeff Kaiser extended trumpet
    Guerino Mazzola grand piano
    Heinz Geisser percussion
    Sirone bass


View Shopping Cart  /  Checkout

Statements and Criticism

(From the liner notes of the CD Dancing The Body of Time) This music, these musicians allow the possibilities to explode.
          Bob Rusch, Cadence Jazz Records

(review of Live at Airegin) If, back in the day, you got up one morning, knocked back a couple of quadruple-shot espressos, did a few lines of Peruvian marching dust, then took a ride with Miles Davis in his Ferrari, you may have felt a little like this music sounds. To call this music high-energy would be an understatement: it's wired, amped, Fire Music that rages like an inferno. Long-time compatriots, drummer Geisser and pianist Mazzola are both incessant, loquacious improvisers who tend to operate at a light-speed intensity that demands deep listening and an attention span geared to long-form creativity. It's demanding music that comes at you like a tsunami.
          Bill Barton, Signal to Noise

This is improvisational music at its most challenging. Not for the faint-hearted.
          John Sutherland, Coda Magazine

Extreme effort multiplied by anxious music has created a powerful and unforgettable storm.
          Jim Santella, all about jazz

...quite an ensemble unit...
          Jake Harper, all about jazz

...an urban, fast and hypersensitive group, where the network is dominant against the individual actions.

          Knit Media

...with Mazzola spattering lines and strokes like a speed-crazy Jackson Pollock. ...beautiful stuff, highly recommended.
          Larry Nai, Cadence Magazine

Heinz Geisser is nothing less than "omnidirectional".
          Chris Kelsey, New York City

Eye-opening free improvised music... extremely individualistic in terms of both rhythm and interplay.
          Yuki Omura, Swing Journal

There's a captivating, creatively charged tension between the techniques of late 20th century European art music and the fire and ice Sturm und Drang of post-Ayler free jazz on the quartet session that is wonderfully intricate, and pretty in the real sense of the word.
          Bill Barton, Signal to Noise

...an incredible display of simpatico interaction between the four players.
          Derek Taylor, Cadence Magazine

The playing is precise and accurate and the improvisational dynamic intelligent and poised, the group switching smoothly from bewildering whirls of activity to exploratory duos and trios.
          Nick Cain, opprobrium online

A confluence of four strong players…Each preserves a forceful musical identity while immersed in collective dynamic that at times is torrential.
          Julian Cowley, THE WIRE

This is improvised 12-tone, supple and balanced.
          Ben Watson, Hi-Fi News

...an entrancing hour of swirling sound.
          IASCR Journal

...incredible synergy.
          All Music Guide

Geisser and Mazzola are the Oppenheimer and Rutherford of creative improvised music.
          Derek Taylor, Cadence Magazine

(review of Maze) ...The tight and serious results of this full-length recording should satisfy the most demanding tastes.
           All Music Guide

...literate, polished and composed (as in played with composure) post Cecil sax-less quartet free-jazz, with tinges of chamber and classical.
          Nick Cain, opprobrium online

This is a feast of color, to be savored again and again.
          Robert Spencer, Cadence Magazine

...il dialogo e la tensione sviluppati dai quattro componenti di questo gruppo sono da mettere fra le cose migliori prodotte negli ultimi tempi nell' area creativa.
          Vittorio Lo Conte, all about Jazz

(review of Chronotomy) ...Dal CD si trae subito un'impressione di organicità. È una cellula in continua rigenerazione, attraverso imprevedibili contrazioni e distensioni. Più rusciamo a penetrare la sua intimità, più colpisce la funzionalità del virtuosismo dei protagonisti.
          Giuseppe dalla Bona, MUSICA JAZZ 

(review of Chronotomy) ...The quartet takes the music to a different space. [ ...] they play with a convincing collective voice as well [...] the music brims with intelligence and vigor regardless of the modality of the moment. [...] Coasting along on lightning quick reactions and serious, consistent flow, this is a fine recording.
          Jason Bivins, Cadence Jazz Magazine 

(review of Chronotomy) ...ci troviamo di fronte a solisti formidabili, virtuosi che hanno elaborato, ognuno sul propio strumento, vocabulari personalissimi...i quattro lunghi segmenti di improvisazione libera diventano capaci di estasiare l'ascoltatore amante dell'espressionismo in musica, ma anche di attrarre i più tradizionalisti, per via di una sensibilità artistica fuori dal comune.
          Gianpaolo Chiriacò, JAZZIT

(review of Chronotomy) ...Nel patinato mondo del postmoderno un ritorno all'autenticità della communicazione.
          Vittorio LoConte, all about Jazz 

(review of Toni's Delight) ...ein ungemein komplexes, ideenreiches Interplay von fast orchestraler Dichte, das auf das komplementäre Verhältnis von Melos und Klang ausgerichtet ist....Ganz nebenbei, niemals vordergründig, ein gelungenes Spiel mit musikalischen Travestien, mit zertrümmerten Klischees, aber auch mit der Fantasie des Hörers.-
          Benno Bartsch, Jazzpodium

(review of Heliopolis) Gleich vorab: was dieses Quartett abliefert, ist mehr als die Summe von vier Individualisten, ist improvisierte Musik auf allerhöchstem Niveau. Ihre stärkste Tugend ist das Aufeinanderhören, der ¨musikalische Diskurs gleichberechtigter Bürger¨; jeder kommt zu Wort, auf jeden wird gehört, alles Gesagte taucht in den er-improvisierten Diskurs ein. Dann die bestechende Stringenz...
Auf bewundernswürdige Weise hält das Quartett die fragile Balance zwischen Disziplin und Vitalität, aber auch die Balance zwischen Konsolidierung und Experiment, denn das Quartett sichtet die Stilmittel improvisierter Musik, wendet sie gekonnt an und weist auf der Basis des gesicherten Fundus neue Wege.
          Benno Bartsch, Jazzpodium

...aus einer zunächst unspezifisch brodelnden, ungeheuer dichten Klanglava entwickeln sich klare Strukturen, entsteigen rhapsodische Gesten, entsteht ein spannungsgeladener Dialog der beiden hochvirtuosen Protagonisten.
          Nick Liebmann, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

(review of Folia) ...the Folia cycle, although created through free dialogue of two improvising virtuosos, in reality turns out to be a truly symphonic and highly logical work of contemporary music. Only composed in real time...Highly recommended.
          Michal Mendyk, Polskie Radio

(review of Folia) Besonders "The man of the sun" ist eine pianistische Tour de Force, in deren Verlauf Mazzola mit fast übermenschlichem Kraftaufwand die Musik in den Aggregatzustand des Sonnenplasmas überführt. Er lässt in atemberaubender Geschwindigkeit Motive und Motivfragmente aufeinander krachen, sie zu neuen Verbindungen verschmelzen und in erneuten Explosionen wieder in alle Richtungen davonfliegen. Dabei verlieren Geisser und Mazzola bei aller Sorgfalt fürs Detail niemals den Gesamtblick auf den grossen Spannungsbogen. Diese mehrdimensionale Layertechnik erinnert an die Durchführungspraxis der europäischen Musik und erfordert natürlich enorme Konzentration. Aber der Aufwand lohnt sich, denn die gelungene intellektuelle und strukturelle Bändigung des einmal entfesselten musikalischen Aberwitzes zieht den Hörer restlos in ihren Bann.
          Benno Bartsch, Jazzpodium

„This is rare work, music of emotion and wit, filled with thoughts and feelings that can be expressed no other way, whether sombre or excited, filled with passions and longings, or playful, bantering, abrasive, and angular.

Two musicians of the highest calibre take us through an imaginative landscape of mountain peaks and fragrant valleys, of glimpsed machines and sudden free falls into space, through known vignettes and incomprehensible equations that strike at our deepest sense of our own orderings.“

Canadian music critic

Stuart Broomer on Duo CD

Toni’s Delight – Live in Seoul

Available now: New release on Silkheart Records


with music from the Duo's tour to Korea, Japan and Mexico in fall 2000.

Now on
Black Saint


by the Heinz Geisser - Guerino Mazzola Quartet
featuring Mat Maneri - violin and Scott Fields - electric guitar
recorded by Jon Rosenberg at ¨The Studio¨, New York City

Dedicated to improvisation, the Heinz Geisser–Guerino Mazzola Duo makes each performance a unique musical adventure. The two musicians reinvent and redefine their music in real time, creating instant-compositions based on free expression and the highest level of musical interplay. „Given the fact that music has an existential connection to time and considering it’s irreversibility, improvisation proves itself to be an archetypal design of creating music“, notes Geisser.

Guerino Mazzola and Heinz Geisser have been playing together since 1994 in a variety of small groups including Rob Brown, Mat Maneri, Scott Fields and Matt Turner. Their developed cohesiveness can be heard on numerous CDs, released on Black Saint, Silkheart Records, Music&Arts, Cadence Jazz Records, Creative Works, Quixotic Records, and others.

Guerino Mazzola was born in 1947, beginning classical piano lessons at the age of six. Between 1961 and 1964, he attended the Zurich Jazz School. From 1966 to 1971, he took a diploma in maths, theoretical physics and crystallography at Zurich University, then pursued postdoctoral research at the Universities of Paris and Rome. In the 1970s, he worked at jazz piano and improvisation. The 1980s were the years of new mathematical music theories and practical musicians activities. His manifesto-like LP, AKROASIS—Beethoven’s Hammerklavier-Sonate in Drehung (für Cecil Taylor) on Wergo Records, has linked twin peaks of supposedly incompatible traditions. He declares that his playing seeks ?expressivity of the hierarchical and ramified anatomy of time?—attempting to crack time open and make the results available to listeners. Guerino Mazzola has released 3 LPs and 17 CDs, and published 18 books and over 100 papers in the fields of maths, topology, brain-research and computer-music. Heinz Geisser was born in 1961 and studied classical guitar with Ermano Maggini and classical percussion with Horst Hofmann at the Zurich Music Conservatory. By his mid-twenties he was awarded the soloist diploma on classical guitar. He was also playing jazz on the instrument since the age of sixteen, making his first recording in 1988 with Swiss saxophonist Urs Blöchlinger. For the last decade he has concentrated entirely on percussion. In 1992 he formed the Collective 4tet with Mark Hennen, Jeff Hoyer and William Parker during an extended visit to New York City. Their four CD’s The Ropedancer, Orca, Live at Crescent and Synopsis, released on Leo Records were praised by international critics. Heinz Geisser has performed and recorded with many leading artists in the USA, Asia and Europe including sessions for Swiss National Radio and BBC.