The album uncommon sense has enjoyed 12 consecutive weeks on the CMJ Jazz Chart, Peaking at #2 in November 2012.
Two cuts off the album were among the winners of the 2012 International Songwriting Competition (ISC), one each in the categories Instrumental and Jazz.
[…] Axel Schwintzer thrives on versatility […] The songs themselves are also a star attraction, as the leader managed to construct and arrange tunes that sound appealing and fresh at a surface level while keeping it busy and interesting with a lot of things going on harmonically underneath that surface.
Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews!
[…] Schwintzer crafts challenging and innovative music […] Uncommon Sense [is] a ten-piece canvas of stylistically varied original compositions that meld pop and funk influenced grooves with samba elements. […] Tenor [and alto saxophones] guiding the music along, [together with] the pianist’s own stellar solos. […] Tout Compte Fait […] does inspire a beautiful piano solo. […] Schwintzer asserts himself quite well with some of his best work on Wishing Well, […] one of the bright highlights of the disc, […] successfully fashioning a profound musical statement that’s hard to ignore.
Edward Blanco, All About Jazz
[…] With enough complexity to keep the interest of the jazz listener […] yet very accessible to any ear. […] All the members of the sextet have excellent moments throughout the album. Schwintzer’s improvisations are rich and detailed and always compounded of elegance and freshness.
Wilbert Sostre, Jazz Inside Magazine
It is definitely worthy of attention. The group led by pianist/keyboardist Axel Schwintzer features some great musicianship.
John Book, This is Books Music
Axel Schwintzer does one thing […] keep the classic piano jazz trio sound alive and well as well as amplify upon the tradition and the vibe when called upon. […] collides the 50s, 60s and 70s into a seamless mash up that keeps you engaged from start to finish. An auspicious debut that hopefully shows there’s more on the way. Well done.
Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap
[…] Balancing the tracks between harboring melodic sensibilities and discordant hooks […] the group manages both principles of sounding melodic and chaotic […] their independent projectiles […] are threaded beautifully along the seams of the track. The slow rises made along Schwintzer’s piano keys […] have a capricious scroll that is sonically pleasing while interspersed by the saxophone’s flares. […] The prancing keys embellish the track with scintillating frills […] Axel’s Axiom is a group of like-minded and independently minded musicians. […] They play with the intention of acting as a catalyst for each other while never drifting far from the others.
Susan Frances, Yahoo
[…] an uncommonly dazzling debut CD […] an air-tight rhythmic argument. […] He’s one hell of a pianist to listen to. His playing is stylish, but not flowery and cloyed. He has a light touch that always manages to find places to swing. His pianism subtly, earnestly, draws the listener into that area close to the emotional ‘center’ […]a set of aesthetics that makes this date very exciting […] It is in the spontanaeity of thought composing, displayed here, that it remains fresh; new; original. […] Schwintzer’s writing for the horns is challenging, but also stimulating […] elevating Schwintzer’s composing ability, at least conceptually, into the stratosphere of giants. […] Schwintzer’s use of space on the slower compositions shows a fecund imagination. […] Schwintzer’s pensive, thoughtful piano […] teeming with exciting musical concepts, this captivating debut album culminates in a climax of explosive rhythm from the band and its gifted, young, pianist/composer, whose style is elegantly articulate. […]
CJ Bond, Jazz Music
This is a fine set composed, arranged and led by pianist Axel Schwintzer. The balance of tempos matches the moods of the session, a balance of spirited play and romance. […]
D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place Jazz Magazine
Axel Schwintzer & crew […] offer up 10 high-energy tunes that go the full range […] they play tunes that will remain at the top of your playlists, with great changes (especially on the rhythm side of things) that will totally enchant your ears […] No matter what your “style” of jazz listening, you’ll find something to love on this great CD. […] MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.
Rotcod Zzaj, Improvijazzation Nation