released on Auricle Records (October 2014)

Jazz'n'More (February 2015)

Since its inception in the 90s, the Who trio has achieved a high level of spontaneous collective invention as the new double album with various shots of 2011-2013 is impressive. Since the Geneva- Wintsch and the Berne - Oester, two romantics who do not deny their lyrical flair, even if it comes in free sound explorations. And Gerry Hemingway has long recognized as a versatile, always curious musician who is committed to fully and stimulating blends. Among the precursors of this style of play include Paul Bley and Keith Jarrett a little. Usually a small idea, and all sorts of hints of pianists and alert in interaction, grow slowly and pass ideas and voltage curves, usually modal and lyrical, but also almost never without a groove. As the melodic sonic events, the rhythm through all the phases, from very subliminally to very explicitly. The first acoustic CD presents brief sketches - mostly suite-like the stream of consciousness following or abruptly separated. What stands out is the simplicity of the ideas, their development and the patient hardly ever abandoned transparency. The noise-like is closely linked to the melodious, sometimes overturned in free jazz. - On the second CD produced three long improvisations, strongly influenced by Wintsch’s excellent integrated synthesizer electronics and acoustic sounds. Also 25 minutes away assets the three to keep the voltage and the relationship fully, and in a kidnap fascinating soundscapes. Jürg Solothurnmann - Jazz'n'More (February 2015 Review of WHO Zoo on Auricle Records)

AllAboutJazz October 26, 2014

American drummer/percussionist Gerry Hemingway has made his home in Switzerland since 2009. Besides his teaching and solo performances, currently, his most accomplished working band is The WHO Trio. 'WHO' stands for Wintsch/Hemingway/Oester. It's Hemingway's unconventional piano trio with Swiss partners pianist Michel Wintsch and bassist Banz Oester.
The WHO Zoo is their fifth release, beginning with Choucas (Leo, 1999) through Less Is More (Clean Feed, 2010). Each disc has been a revelation and affirmation of this trio's like-mindedness.
These two discs are distinguished by one being an all acoustic, the other electric.
Both versions are bright and masterfully recorded. Hemingway's cymbals jump from the speakers, piano notes are crisp, and the bass lines anchor weight. That is, when Oester is wearing the cape of the timekeeper. Often he is creating melody or itching and scratching out new sounds. This trio is inclined to reinvention. Concocting new song forms and pioneering new ways to make sounds. Hemingway is a virtuoso at percussive invention, his "sounds" often inspire Wintsch to treat the piano as another percussive device, working the hammers as toms and keeping time with repetitive notes. That said, these improvisations are never doodling noise. The trio has a way of keeping their flights grounded in song. Melodies appear and are reworked, rhythmic changes have a purpose. Their instantly composed improvisations are indeed songs.
The acoustic/electric demarcation is not so much about opposition, as it is additions. Wintsch's piano is augmented by synthesizers, Hemingway adds a harmonica, and Bänz a lamp. Yes, a lamp. The difference here is that the electric pieces are all lengthy improvisations with noisier pieces of reanimation here. Does the electric disc signal a new direction for The WHO Trio, or maybe just another set of tools to mark their path? Mark Corroto AllAboutJazz October 26, 2014

The New York City Jazz Record December 2014

In existence since 1998, unlike previous efforts, Zoo, the WHO Trio’s fourth release, consists entirely of improvised pieces, spread across two CDs, which contrast acoustic and electric approaches. In truth, the differences are confined to pianist Michel Wintsch’s use of a synthesizer in conjunction with piano, as the same commitment to spontaneous composition and tonal exploration permeates both sets. The trio proves quite capable of creating extraordinary timbres without resorting to electricity, although Wintsch’s electronics considerably increase the palette of tonal color available. In a role reversal, Wintsch and bassist Bänz Oester often maintain momentum as much as Hemingway, who contrarily revels in a boisterous clatter. When Hemingway does contribute a pulse, it remains loosely defined, though lacking nothing in propulsive zeal. Hemingway makes full use of the resources at his disposal, even using his voice on the lengthy “Lamp Bowl” to add a childlike murmuring. At the piano, Wintsch proves imaginative, partial to preparations to modulate hammers on strings. He has a predilection for rhythmic patterns whatever the instrument; indeed on “Chilabreela” he seems as if he is playing variations on a Bach theme in his left hand while spinning an edgy single-note alarm with his right. Oester excels at both pithy commentary and more aggressive sound generation. “Sloeperr” stands as a highlight formed from the purposeful but unpredictable intertwining of three forceful individual strands, which sums up the trio’s appeal. John Sharpe The New York City Jazz Record October 2014

Debra Richards - Swiss Vibes - October 2014

From the opening, assured double bass note and urgent cymbal tapping to piano notes peeking shyly out, the quality of The Who Zoo is apparent. The acoustic side of this limited release, double album uphold the trio’s aim: to respectfully work on the art of improvisation.
It sounds like a whale singing of unrequited love
The track Rembellarun stands out for feeling like an actual composition, all be it a dreamlike one with Michel Wintsch at his melancholic best and Gerry Hemingway providing an edge by literally scraping the side of a cymbal. It sounds like a whale singing of unrequited love. Just when the percussive ideas begin to dominate, in rides a piano rebuff – a few notes delivered with confidence and defiance. Hemingway is a constant imaginative presence sensitively patting out ideas and allowing cymbals to whisper sweet nothings around the hook line in Demmpa. Bänz Oester tunes in, but asserts his own ideas with an intimate knowledge of strokes, caresses and pulls of his bass strings. The inventiveness of his playing borders on the magical.
I like it when they get raw and primal
I didn’t like Sloeperr to begin with, then at nine minutes in, on maybe the third listen, I got goosebumps and almost tears in my eyes as the warped hymn lines and piano poundings, bass vibrations and beatings and rattling drum funk entangled me in an emotional net. I like it when they get raw and primal. They can handle it without resorting to cliché. There are times when I’m certain Hemingway could get in chops and licks but he keeps it organic, all three staying riveted to the present moment. This favouring of the integrated ‘group solo’ enables an uninterrupted onslaught. Hemingway was a name in the ‘loft scene’ of 1970s New York where free jazz had laid the foundation and was developed by new creatives such as Joe McPhee, Don Pullen and David Murray. His presence is powerful but his depth of experience is matched by Oester and Wintsch. Michel embroiders the music with runs that sound like glass beads scattering and exquisite melodies that seem to trickle from a Peter Greenaway film soundtrack.
How I’d love to hear Oester on electric bass
The second CD is mis-titled as ‘Electric’. I was expecting Wintsch on Fender Rhodes and how I’d love to hear Oester on electric bass, but in fact at the core of these longer improvisations are the acoustic instruments with what seems to be decorative strokes of synthesiser, electric sound
effects and noodlings. ‘Acoustic Plus’ may have been a better description. Debra Richards - Swiss Vibes - October 2014



released on Clean Records (March 2009)

WHO stands for Wintsch (Michel, piano), Hemingway (Gerry, drums and percussion) and Oester (Bänz, bass). Active for over ten years under this embodiment, these artists are as distant from an ordinarily stale jazz trio as an exhausted reviewer could wish for. For starters, we find no surplus of swing in Less Is More, which makes me extremely intrigued. There’s much else to explore, though, and the musicians are not shy in attempting different routes, all leading to a single result: the expression of simple rhythmic and melodic concepts through a superior level of restrained interplay.

Either walking across intense abstraction (the impressive opening track “Inside The Glade” is, purely and simply, a masterpiece of concerned waiting and unsettled thoughts) or examining the details of metrical interlocking almost to the point of ritualism (“The Pump”, “The Eastern Corner”), WHO always manage to look unique even by maintaining the instrumental gradations virtually untouched. “Wedding Suite” may appear as a straightforward song yet it is full of dissonance – of the digestible kind - especially remarked by the ever-interesting, outside-the-canon figurations played by Wintsch, whose style is reserved and intelligently comprehensible at once, altered melodies and harmonic cleverness bathed in inspired suggestion. Banz sounds prosperous or emaciated depending on the context, the focus remaining on the sensible aspects of structural stability. Hemingway offers a great proof of sensitive drumming throughout, the subtlety of his percussive interventions during the most rarefied sections a lesson of self-discipline that many bangers should learn.

Don’t be fooled into thinking about ECM or similar comparisons: despite a graceful confidence and the total mastery of the tools at their disposal, these men’s music is a refined blend of sensitiveness and, at times, visionary drive that does not need the support of a church’s reverberation to affirm its durability in the listener’s memory.
MASSIMO RICCI posted 22:08 THURSDAY, 22 OCTOBER 2009 Touching Extremes

Its beginning with almost the twenty minutes of “Inside The Glade” (composed by the trio) and “Still Alone” (written by pianist Michel Wintsch) shows two subjects of chilling beauty, able to absorb the listener and to transfer us to a state of eternal contemplation.

The three final pieces (“Stardance”, “Hasna” and “The Eastern Corner”, that show moments of the three musicians using their instruments in a little orthodox way, are three magnificent samples of how this trio works as a group, with subjects that are constructed little by little and that are based on deep listening between the three musicians
Tomajazz review by Pachi Tapiz

The piano trio is probably one of the most common ensembles to be heard in jazz, and truth be told, I am a little weary of them, preferring the expressiveness of a horn section. Yet once in a while, a piano trio comes forward that has something new to tell. When I listened to WHO Trio's "The Current Underneath" (Leo Records) a couple of years ago, I was immediately enchanted by the sheer musicality of the project. This one, "Less Is More", is even better. The trio consists of Michel Wintsch on piano, Gerry Hemingway on drums and Bänz Oester on bass. I have rarely come across a band who can create the perfect marriage of tension and lyricism, like this trio does. The "less is more" concept really describes the music well, there is lots of open space, but there is also tension in every note being played. Every sound is full of restraint, as if it only hints at the vast hidden world that made it possible, yet that remains unseen. Implicit music. The note that isn't played is as important as the one that is. Real beauty is revealed by suggesting it. Despite this sparsity of notes, the music itself makes sense. There is a simple beauty in it, with evolving melodic concepts, interesting compositional structures, and some extended techniques. Each piece is different, though, but all tracks fall within the same logic and supertight control. If the Japanese saying is true that beauty is "controlled passion", then this album is for sure a great example of it. 2/22/09 Stef - Free Jazz Blog

“Less Is More” (Clean Feed *****), do WHO Trio, demonstra cabalmente o que o título proclama. O pianista Michael Wintsch, o baterista Gerry Hemingway e o contrabaixista Bänz Oester (cujos apelidos formam o WHO) averiguam quais as quantidades mínimas de melodia e pulsação rítmica necessárias para manter um tema a planar. Música com a beleza e a fragilidade de gotas de orvalho numa teia de aranha, mas cuja audácia e imprevisibilidade não a deixam confundir, em momento algum, com “jazz ambiente” Time Out Lisboa review by José Carlos Fernandes.

Who Trio: cerimónia solene

Eles são [da esquerda para a direita]: Bänz Oester (baixo), Gerry Hemingway (bateria) e Michel Wintsch (piano) — suíços, o primeiro e o terceiro, americano o do meio —, e formam o Who Trio. Embora com muitas actividades repartidas pelos mais variados agrupa-mentos, o certo é que desde 1995 construíram uma intimidade musical que lhes permite lançar, agora, um prodigioso álbum que, certamente não por acaso, possui o título esclarecedor de Less Is More.
É certo que a estrutura mais clássica do trio de jazz poderia apelar a texturas mais ou menos formatadas, porventura comandadas pelo piano. Mas não: o Who Trio funciona a partir de uma democracia tonal, sempre em aberto, sempre à procura das suas próprias fronteiras, num jogo de ecos, cumplicidades e narrativas que confere a Less Is More a dimensão de uma cerimónia de minimalista solenidade. E a palavra cerimónia deverá ser entendidade nas suas significações mais radicais, incluindo a que nos remete para a contenção do sagrado -
Sound + Vision review by João Lopes.

The piano jazz trio is by now a familiar form—maybe too familiar. Many are already attuned to the standards-style trio (which may also cover modern pop tunes), and the free jazz trio (which is neither tethered to melody nor anchored in jazz sensibilities. But expectations need to be set aside when WHO Trio plays. The descriptive title, Less Is More, might just bear the subtitle "any more of this might just be too much."
This trio, featuring drummer Gerry Hemingway, Swiss pianist Michel Wintsch and bassist Bänz Oester, has been making music for more than 10 years now. Although each player has multiple side projects, their work together is both remarkable and quite exceptional. This is the trio's fifth recording, following The Current Underneath (Leo Records, 2004).

The intelligence of this music is in its simplicity and interplay. Only a close working group like WHO Trio could make this coherent a statement and not get in each other's way. The music, pleasing in its simplicity, samples jazz swing but eschews its boundaries. Each player, adept at free jazz, strives to maintain the focus of each thoroughly composed track. No diddling is heard here—whether Wintsch is plucking strings inside his piano, Oester is knocking wood on his bass, or Hemingway is creating a myriad of sounds on his kit, they are contributing to the whole composition.

The closest relation to this trio might be Keith Jarrett's Standards Trio, coupled with the teamwork of the Clusone Trio, and the telepathy of a classic Bill Evans recording. But unlike those bands, WHO Trio doesn't begin its exploration with covers of familiar tunes. It creates its own world, which can be beautiful and moving in ballads that combine the tension and release of jazz with the folk sensibility of a simple melody.

For all practical purposes this is a perfect recording. Mark Corroto (AAJ).


Certainly it is a jazz record, rife with beautifully studied compositions and carefully articulated improvisations; as such, it is a nocturnal, silky, wonderfully wrought piece of understated mastery. ......

….when it's the Who Trio, anything and everything is possible. Awesome  Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

The trio repeatedly stretched the conventions of the modern jazz piano format to the brink of disfigurement, without crossing over into pat deconstructivist gestures. Each player exerted a determined independence in developing materials; but as in the case of Paul Bley's classic trios, there is a spaciousness immediately asserted that each player's mobility is easily incorporated into the work.

All three musicians have excellent skills: Wintsch can unleash withering unison lines that suddenly splay to create dizzying contrapuntal mazes: Oester has a deft sense of leading with a big sound and letting phrases build in its wake; and Hemingway has a seemingly bottomless reservoir of ways to shape the pulse on a second by second basis. WHO Trio provides a truly open forum for them to roam.

Bill Shoemaker 2002

With beautiful melody and intricate structure, the WHO trio's album Open Songs displays the strong compositional background of the musicians. Gentle improvisations are interwoven, and there is strength and unity in the sound. Beyond the traditional method of trading solos, there's a profound communication and feeling of solidity between the three players. Although entitled Open Songs, they are not so much airy as they are tight, each sonic element connected like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle. by Paula Fayerman

For the most part, Michael Wintsch’s compositions - plus a couple from drummer Gerry Hemingway - are wholly absorbing, rousingly unpredictable, cleverly structured pieces that elicit trio performances of extraordinary subtlety and delicacy yet scrupulously controlled power.

Chris Parker, BBC Music

This is swing with a ring, able to pause way out on a limb before hitting a collapsable brick wall straight back into the composition. Mixing metaphors is easy in these surroundings.

Steve Day

Identity is persuasive, distinctive and at times striking as these musicians fuse their individual talents from a compositional and technical perspective which adds a nice touch of diversity along with a few surprises here and there. Throughout, the band state their collective identities in outward and for the most part, glistening fashion while providing the listener with captivating themes along with zealous soloing and a compelling sense of unity. A first class effort and thoroughly modernistic approach to the beloved piano trio format! Recommended...........* * * * By Glenn Astarita

WHO- Michel Wintsch/Bänz Oester/Gerry Hemingway-The Current Underneath
Leo Records LR 391 

The third release "The Current Underneath" by the trio features all-star trombonist Ray Anderson, performing on the final cut titled, “Jlrai.” Ultimately, the group uses space as an added instrument. But don’t let that fool you. The musicians do inject an abundance of pumping grooves, fiercely enacted swing motifs and finger-snapping rhythms into the grand scheme of things. Drummer Gerry Hemingway and bassist Banz Oester generate matters into overdrive on occasion, while pianist Michel Wintsch once again surfaces as an articulate improviser. The pianist often counterbalances a sequence of micro-themes with his left hand voicings amid swirling countercurrents and odd-metered pulses. They explore a myriad of disparate angles. Hence, the live element creates an uncanny sense of the visual, whereas the trio remains focused, yet loose. The music is characterized by a continuous and asymmetrically designed flow, while Wintsch creates a few well-placed gaps here and there. At times, fascinating and highly entertaining, the trio simply distinguishes itself in rather pronounced fashion throughout this absorbing affair. (Vigorously recommended…) Glenn

and from All Music Guide

This sophomore effort by the Who Trio -- pianist Michel Wintsch with drummer Gerry Hemingway and bassist Bänz Oester -- is a rambling, startling exercise in textures, layered dynamics, and process. Certainly it is a jazz record, rife with beautifully studied compositions and carefully articulated improvisations; as such, it is a nocturnal, silky, wonderfully wrought piece of understated mastery. The opener, "Quartier Lointain," a collective improvisation, offers a bird's-eye view of the intimacy of these proceedings. Wintsch 's pianism shimmers around two different melodic ideas as Hemingway double-times his way into near silence, underlining only the briefest of phrases. Oester falls in on separate measures, collating his way through the harmonics. Eventually, the tension increases just enough to bring the band together in a taut percussive exchange before Wintsch brings back his skeletal melody to break it. It's stunning. OnWintsch 's "Swantra," bopped-up piano blues and swing are offered up as ghost figures for a new kind of knotty interchange as both Oester and Hemingwaysyncopate the already syncopated and turn harmonics around on one another in the process. The reading of "Jerusalem" here is one of the most elegant, emotionally beautiful, and challenging ever recorded. Its deep lyricism reflects the traditionally based folk melody the tune is composed on as a jazz construct, and offers the sheerest shade of the blues as an anchor to its exoticism. And so it goes -- until the last track as Ray Anderson 's trombone is added to the mix. Oester's bowed bass and Hemingway 's whispering cymbals introduce the tune. "J'Irai" seems to come from the desert itself. Its slowly unfolding melody and mode reflect the spirits of ancient musics and film noir jazz before becoming a tough, slightly out post-bop swing fest. It is arresting, deep, mysterious, and profound in its subtlety. This is a provocative way to end a recording where so much has already been introduced, but when it's the Who Trio, anything and everything is possible. Awesome. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

From All About Jazz
by Ty Cumbie

View review here

"Open Songs" on Altrisuoni Records released in the spring of 2002 and features a number of the trio's interpretations of French chanssons.

WHO- Michel Wintsch/Bänz Oester/Gerry Hemingway-Open Songs
Altrisuoni 108



The trio Wintsch / Hemingway / Oester proposes us a very creative music with its new album.

Original compositions are along side interpretations of songs from, among others, Gilbert Bécaud and Jacques Brel. With a lot of subtlety, these songs (these "Open Songs") actually open and become the crucible of a captivating re-invention.

The surprising interpretation of the "Plat Pays" really gives us the feeling to go across this scenery described by Brel. The sounds restitute the wide area and the magic becomes possible.

Open Songs resounds an astonishing beauty, sometimes on the verge of silence. We perceive behind these notes a voice, both strange and familiar, and a contained emotion which tears us one moment and exhilarates us the next.

Géraldine Martin ::june 24 2002

Open Songs-Altrisuoni 108 Jason BivinsCadence

Michel Wintsch is one of the many players on the European scene who enjoys far less exposure than the rightly should. A talented pianist who straddles genres - from chamber music to free improvisation to slinky grooves or films music - in less a channel-surfing than a synthetic fashion, he's developed his own voice with this trio for several years now. His recordings are often marked more by their sense of narrative developement   than their technical bravado (he's got technique, don't worry ; he just knows when and when not to use it for the sake of the music). It helps to have   such a sympathetic   partners in these endavors. Oester's bass playing shares many of the virtues of Hemingway's drumming : each   is able to play with equal ease in idiomatic and non-idiomatic situations, providing either a highly creative texture   or a very specific pulse track.

From the opening themes on this recording, it is evident that the group is exploring repetition and minimalism more than on some earlier recordings. The dedication to Tarkovski is, if anyone needed a pointer, a fair indication of Wintsch's sensibilities as improviser : he tends toward the dramatic, if not always the cinematic. The trio brings a great deal of inventiveness to the relatively simple structure of « Offret » (Oester's pizzicato meshes particularly well with Wintsch's darting play). Looking at the basic   elements of the tune from different angles seems to be the order of the day. The drama is not only internal to each composition/improvisation, but is also used to structure the album as a whole. « Le plat pays » is a somber, droning piece where Wintsch's ruminations are offset against whisking percussion and delicate arco. This, along with « Ne me quittes pas » is a Jacques Brel tune - an interesting reference to set alongside Wintsch's oftnoted classical proclivities. He sounds as if he's having a ball playing someone else's tunes, as he also does on Angel Cabral's « La foule » with is very elaborate counterlines. But to me, the finest piece here, filled with thorny statements,   rhythmic   knots, and open gestures as well - and the hour « Et maintenant ». This last piece returns to the quasi-minimalist feel, but with a slightly more anthemic   quality. As the piece progresses, Hemingway and Oester start to swing and groovr like mad, pushing Wintsch to some of his most expressive playing. While not every piece suceeds (« Isablue » for example, has a nice ambience but doesn't really go anywhere, while « 2 pm » feels like little more than a punctuation mark), this fine piano trio is to be commended for going beyond the usual parameters.

Jason Bivins,   Cadence October 2002 Vol. 28 No 10 

"Identity" on Leo Records was the trio's debut cd.

Identity is yet another fine piano trio recording brought to us by "Leo Records" featuring the expertise of pianist Michel Wintsch, bassist Ban Oester and all-world drummer-composer Gerry Hemingway. Here each musician contributes compositions that run the gamut from being tightly integrated or classically tinged such as Wintsch' "Choucas" and "Anne-Marie S" along with spotty doses of congenial swing motifs and gleaming tonal contrasts all performed via a well-mannered and orderly approach. On Hemingway's composition "NT", Wintsch displays a massive yet eloquently stated percussive attack behind the keys along with a lightning quick right hand. The Trio also explore various themes via sharp, brilliantly executed improvisation on pieces such as "Link" where Hemingway's sweeping brush-work sets an unusual pattern followed by Wintsch' circular passages. "Driving Home" is a moderate swing in the classic piano trio mold as Wintsch' employs soulful passages that may fit somewhere in between Junior Mance and Monk as Oester and Hemingway stretch out with poignant well-executed solos.


  Identity is persuasive, distinctive and at times striking as these musicians fuse their individual talents from a compositional and technical perspective which adds a nice touch of diversity along with a few surprises here and there. Throughout, the band state their collective identities in outward and for the most part, glistening fashion while providing the listener with captivating themes along with zealous soloing and a compelling sense of unity. A first class effort and thoroughly modernistic approach to the beloved piano trio format! Recommended...........* * * * Glenn Astarita