back to
Intakt Records
We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.
  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    You will get the CD-booklet (as PDF-file) with liner notes and photos as bonus if you buy the whole album.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $9.80 USD  or more


Laban Ko 03:32
Aka 03:11
Batak 05:44
Chtau 07:35
Die Brücke 04:01
Die Heimkehr 04:17
Kirui 05:47
Ah Chabiba 03:15


Intakt CD 119

This is the second album of Co Streiff's Sextet. If the first album, “Qattara,” clearly established its direction, with a focus on African and world-music instruments, themes, melodies, and rhythms, while also referring to such soul mates as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, and Andrew Cyrille, this release only needs a few relaxed cues and some knowing head-nodding. The constant, consistently lively, conscious handling of predecessors and their material allows “Loops, Holes, and Angels” to harvest the most beautiful fruit. Despite their clearly marked connections to roots, to the past, the Co Streiff Sextet’s playing is always quite modern and up-to-date. The music is deeply original, charismatically contemporary, completely in the here and now. It is clear intuition, it is conscious moods, and it is the knowledge that originates from movement.


. . . an extraordinary group. It’s a heady mix, with enough spaces (‚holes‘) left in the long ostinatos (‚loops‘) for the angels to dance. Glorious, uncategorisable modern music.
Brian Morton, The Wire, August 2007

Swiss saxophonist Co Streiff and her sextet offer a virtual sightseeing tour of progressive jazz dipped in a variety of world-music including Middle Eastern modal structures. Barriers don’t exist here as the band take in avant-blues riffs, torrid improvisational maneuvers and much more. It’s an entertaining ride. On “Chtau,” Ben Jeger’s revved-up Farfisa keyboard sounds like a mini-Moog. Or is it an analogue synth? Whatever it is, on this track Jeger multitasks with his accordion, creating a North African/progressive jazz groove accentuated by Streiff’s rippling soprano saxophone solo. Overall, Streiff’s classy stylizations and fertile imagination yield bountiful dividends.
Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz, June 2007

Rarely does an “avant-garde” jazz player address the challenges of West and South African structures with such a clear emphasis on groove. Swiss saxophonist Streiff’s background ranges from a stint in the circus to travels in Sahara, and she brings a focused eclecticism to this pulsating disc. Keyboardist Ben Jeger is, within a jazz context, a very imaginative keyboardist; his clavinet and farfisa playing are not traditional jazz keys by a long shot, ensuring that the groove is never far away. Streiff alternates between soprano and alto, sharing duties with Tommy Meier. The first piece, “Loops Holes and Angles,” starts off all Dolphy-like before moving into a lurching 3/4 swing, which recalls Mingus without the badass attitude. A cover of one of Frederic Galliano’s Malian divas, Nahawa Doumbia, percolates but doesn’t entirely reach the polyrhythmic lockstep of Malian folk, although its spirit is within this music. There are all kinds of moods on this disc, from the ’60s era Central European jazz of “Batak” to the noir freedom of “Die Brucke.” The highlight for me is “Chtau,” where Jeger channels early Fela to get to the best groove on this record.
David Dacks, Exclaim, Canada, July 2007

Streiff on a duet recording she did with pianist Irene Schweizer. It was a fine recording where the two were well-matched and Streiff composed most of the material. Streiff’s first release with her sextet, 2003’s Qattara, was an intriguing blend of pieces by Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman with originals inspired by North African rhythms and melodies. It was quite a unique brew. Loops, Holes And Angels continues on that path yet is clearly the band having progressed three years on. The African element is still clearly a part of Steiff’s music. The most overt example is the one cover on the disc, a version of “Labon Ko” by Malian singer Nahawa Doumbia. It’s a nice arrangement with a rhythmic base of two balafons laying down a clattering percussive ostinato and the horns essaying the piquant line above. “Aka” and “Batak” by saxophonist Meier follow and maintain the ethnic brew. “Batak” is redolent of gamelan music with its clanging percussion. But the Jazz element is equally strong in this music. “Le Matin Blanc” is a cousin to Archie Shepp’s “Le Matin Des Noirs” (it’s on New Thing At Newport) with its loping gait and striking theme played by muted horns. Streiff’s “Chtau” is a playful theme whose rhythm is influenced by Balkan metric weirdness. Every piece here has something a little different to offer. Streiff’s sextet has remained stable over the past three years. Of the current lineup only American trumpet player Russ Johnson is new. She has assembled a crack ensemble. Tommy Meier has a gruff, appealing sound on tenor and it works nicely with Streiff’s sleek and vibrant alto and soprano. Johnson’s trumpet rounds out the front line with powerful playing. I initially found Ben Jeger’s electric keyboards a bit intrusive but repeated listenings have given them a crucial place in the arrangements. The rhythm section of Weber and Flukiger is comfortable whether driving ahead on a piece like “Kirui” or pounding out the staggered rhythms of “Chtau.” This is a remarkable record and hopefully Streiff will get more attention with this, her sextet’s second release. And let’s hope we don’t have to wait four more years for a follow-up.
Robert Iannapollo, Cadence Magazine, September 2007


released January 1, 2007

Co Streiff: altosax, sopranosax
Tommy Meier: tenorsax, bassclarinet, balafon
Russ Johnson: trumpet, flugelhorn
Ben Jeger: piano, farfisa, clavinet, accordeon
Christian Weber: doublebass
Fredi Flükiger: drums, percussion, balafon

Recorded July 20, 21, 2006 at Radiostudio DRS Zürich.
Engineer: Willy Strehler. Liner notes: Marcus Maida, Graphic design: Jonas Schoder. Photo: Ornella Groebli. Produced by Co Streiff and Intakt Records. Published and copyright by Intakt Records. Executive production: Patrik Landolt


all rights reserved



Co Streiff Zürich, Switzerland

contact / help

Contact Co Streiff

Streaming and
Download help

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Loops, Holes & Angels, you may also like: