Lars Rüetschi was born in Switzerland but emigrated with his family to Rio de Janeiro as a young boy, where he absorbed the Brazilian sounds of the Samba and the Bossa Nova. Fate however would have his family involved in a bank robbery and hostage situation, which induced them to return to within the more tranquil borders of Switzerland.
Lars Rüetschi started to play piano at the age of 7 and picked up the guitar at the age of 14. This helped him bring a unique sound to his guitar playing where he employed many piano based phrasings. In 2005 after completing his Jazz guitar studies at the City Of Basel Music Academy, Lars relocated to Berlin in search of expanding his musical horizons, where he worked with many diverse bands both in the studio and live setting over the following years.
Recently Lars Rüetschi has turned to concentrating more on his solo works, building a catalog of songs featuring all the influences he has captured along the way. Lars’ tracks feature a progressive, innovative mix of world music and contemporary jazz. Blending his style of jazz -using electric and acoustic guitars with elements from Europe and South America they are fresh in concept and style.
Rhythmical songs like “Mediterana” and “A Few Steps Ahead” or atmospheric soundscapes like “Nostalgia” and “Empty” or even the ‘electrifying’ “Talking”, offer musical journeys from which you don’t want to leave!
Unlike many guitarists who deconstruct songs so that the melody is lost to technique, there are times I think Lars Rüetschi is more of a universal songwriter -but with a guitar. His songs don’t fall into the category of those “lavishly” orchestrated productions; Lars rather concentrates on a more warm, personal and intimate sound.
There are so many special moments, musically, to treasure here that it’s hard to know where to start. Lars’ treatment of “Talking” is a showcase for his genius for musical dynamics – the way he slowly introduces the melody; the way he pauses and breaks into a solo. He never gets off on machine-gun licks, preferring to stick with picturesque and emotional phrases.
Listen to how Lars shifts the dynamic of the beat and melody on “Nostalgia”. Every one of his tracks track could be broken down into these kind of moments. The melodies and chord choices are superlative. To me, this is “music” that transcends being categorized as jazz, or anything else. The emotions and mental images conjured up in my mind while listening to this music make me feel that “labels” just do not fit this offering. Listening to songs like “A Few Steps Ahead”, you travel ten feet high, while with your mind, you’re in a thousand different places, yet with the sensation of always being at home!
Lars Rüetschi delivers peaceful, lovely, passionate and gentle music, full of wonder and an understated, calming spirituality.