Born: 1961 in Zurich, Switzerland
Styles: Post-Bop, Third Stream, Saxophone Jazz, Bop
A Zurich, Switzerland, native, composer, flutist, and saxophonist Daniel Schnyder is as comfortable and gifted with classical chamber music as with avant-garde jazz, easily crossing between both significant genres of music. He originally studied flute in his homeland at the Conservatory of Winterthur. After moving to the United States, he switched to the Berklee College of Music in Boston and began to study jazz arranging, composition, and the saxophone. He has worked with Lew Soloff, Lee Konitz, Abdullah Ibrahim, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and many others over the years. Schnyder has received commissions from the NDR Big Band, the Atlanta Symphony, the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, the Opera of Bern, and the Vienna Art Orchestra. He has captured awards from the International Trumpet Guild's Composition Contest, the Zolliker Kunstpreis, the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer, and the Association Composition Contest.
ENJA Records released The City, Schnyder's debut album, in 1988. That same year, the album Secret Cosmos: Modern Art Septet hit the shelves, receiving rave reviews from many. On through the '80s and into the '90s, Schnyder recorded a number of works for ENJA, such as Mythology, Decoding the Message, and Nucleus.
In 1996, Schnyder formed a trio with well-known pianist Kenny Drew Jr. and gifted trombonist David Taylor. Together they recorded Words Within Music, a superb but unexpected blending of jazz and modern classical music to reach a sound that is pure Schnyder. The album is filled with tracks like "St. Matthew Passion Suite," "Winter 1941," and "Beep-Hop."
- Charlotte Dillon (All Music Guide)