If you have a chance to celebrate, take it. Drummer Fredy Studer, one of Switzerland’s top percussionists, has good reason to celebrate. This year he will be 70, he’s playing Willisau Jazz Festival for the 27th time (making him the musician who has played this festival the most) and is publishing his very first solo recordings! He has recorded these with a total absence of overdubs and electronic effects. “Now’s the Time – Solo Drums” is issued as a superb box set by Everest Records und Maniac Press. It contains two LPs and a 250-page book, with text by Beat Blaser, Pirmin Bossart, Meinrad Buholzer, Kurt Murpf, Peter Rüedi and Christine Weber.
Fredy Studer, “without doubt one of Europe’s most innovative drummers” (Drums & Percussion), can look back on 45 years of playing experience. The Lucerne musician is self taught and his work is documented on more than one hundred recordings. He was, and is, active with bands and projects such as Koch-Schütz-Studer, OM and Phall Fatale and many others, as well as diverse freelance activities from “A”, such as John Abercrombie, to “Z” – John Zorn.
And now we come to what might be considered the crowning glory: “Now’s The Time – Solo Drums” is not a retrospective, or an archive. “Now’s The Time” is an appreciation of a great musician who has not only made history, but is at the heart of history and who, thanks to his collaborations with other, younger musicians, has never stood still, but who has his eye firmly on the musical future, which he seeks out and embraces.
There is a special appreciation of the work through the statements by four outstanding drummers – Vinnie Colaiuta, Jack De Johnette, Jim Keltner and Paul Lovens – who appear on the “Now’s The Time – Solo Drums” box set. Vinnie Colaiuta has worked with Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, Sting and Herbie Hancock, for example. He congratulates Fredy Studer on his solo work with the words “Your use of textures and rhythms is masterful.” And Jim Keltner, one of the greatest studio drummers, who can be heard on more than 3,000 albums – including those of George Harrison, John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Joe Cocker – enthuses: “Your musicality and how you incorporate the many varied sounds from your palette is always inspirational and so much fun to listen to – killin›.”
“Now’s The Time – Solo Drums” is issued as a 2-LP box set (180 g vinyl each) and a 250-page book (German/English), containing texts by Beat Blaser, Pirmin Bossart, Meinrad Buholzer, Kurt Murpf, Peter Rüedi and Christine Weber about Fredy Studer’s (musical) life. The “Now’s The Time – Solo Drums” box set by Fredy Studer will be issued by Everest Records and Maniac Press.