Archived Interview: No Reduce / by David Bernabo

This Saturday, 09/22/2012, NoReduce, a new Swiss jazz quartet is coming to Pittsburgh to kick off the first Hear/Now Performance Series event at The Alloy Theater. They will be supporting their fantastic new album, Jaywalkin'. Check out the facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/270369663082159/?ref=ts and the website event here: http://www.kelly-strayhorn.org/calendar/event/hear-now-september/

I caught up with NoReduce's Chris Benedict for a short Q&A. 

DB: How did NoReduce start, especially since Nasheet is in NYC? Have you spent time in NYC?
Chris Benedict: Last year the three of us swiss guys spent coincidentally each half a year in NYC. We haven't planed to be there together. So we wanted to set an aim for that period and decided to do this album with Nasheet. 

DB: Where does the name NoReduce come from?
CB: NoReduce is originally based on the letters of our firstnames. N(asheet) R(affaele) D(avey) C(hris). Then we played around with that and came to NoReduce. It's a term in programming language. But for us it means: "No risk, no fun."

DB: The Jaywalkin' album has a great mixture of composition and improvisation. How does the writing process work for the group? It appears that there are three main composers?
CB: All the three swiss guys brought some compositions for the album. That was part of our work in that period, when we lived in NYC. Now, everybody brings in new stuff. Everybody has his own writing process. But the pieces have a lot in common. They are all inspired by places and the way of living in NYC. 

DB: A handful of Swiss musicians have visited Pittsburgh in the past few years bringing a number of different styles. How do you find the Swiss jazz scene? It feels like there is a shared approach with Chicago where a lot of new jazz is emerging.

CB: There is a lot of jazz going on in switzerland and we have a lot of exchange with the US scene, especially people from Chicago and New York. I guess, the character of this generation is to be open for any kind of style and playing, no matter if this is in US or in Switzerland. Everybody is checking out and trying to find different solutions. Nobody has to define himself in just one way, like musicians in the old days had to. It's a great privilege of this generation to have this freedom.

Catch NoReduce along with Jil Stifel dancing in Blaine Siegel's inflatable art, plus an opening performance by Rafael Abreu-Canedo/David Bernabo/Taylor Knight/David Pellow. More Event Info: http://www.kelly-strayhorn.org/calendar/event/hear-now-september/