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Avant Scena, 29 décembre 2018
lundi 4 février 2019 Presse

How Does This Happen? is a new release of Ambiances Magnétiques label. Album was recorded by another one great trio — John Butcher (tenor and soprano saxophones), Philippe Lauzier (bass clarinet) and Éric Normand (electric bass). The collaboration of two great French jazz improvisers and famous, talented and innovative saxophonist John Butcher is the key of bright, passionate and interesting sound. Musicians are individual and independent — their music is based on different traditions, ways of playing and formation of musical language. Each of them has a different point of view, unique improvising style, expressive and driving sound and innovative way of improvising. The traditions and innovations of European, French and American avant-garde jazz are connected in this album. Collective improvisations have vibrant, bright, tremendous and intense sound. It’s filled with surprises, pleasant and gorgeous themes, weird sounds, experimental musical decisions and spontaneous ideas or bursts of energy.

How Does This Happen? is adventurous and passionate. The compositions are based on avant-garde jazz and free improvisation. Musicians are experimenting in all fields of musical language. They pay especially huge attention to instrumentation’s and expressions section. The music is bright, evocative and filled with ambitious ideas, fresh ways of improvising and innovative playing techniques. Three outstanding avant-garde hazz nasters create individual and colorful compounds, who are strongly contrasting with each other. Rich musical language is based on polyphonic and multi-colorful musical pattern, abstract and multi-layed facture, colorful and solid melodic line, dynamic and intense rhythmic, bordering dynamics, unusual timbres, special effects and stylistic variety. These cases effect original, bright and evocative sound. Open form and free improvisation is the main element of all compositions. Musicians dive into emotional, sensible, suprising and touching free improvisations, intense and vibrant bursts of energy, expressive solos, passionate sparkls or subtle, silent and relaxing episodes. Saxophones by John Butcher are moving and expressive. The melodies are based on spontaneous musical decisions, improvising in the spot, bright and moving explosions of energy. The improvisations are moving and innovative, filled with passionate and expressive melodies, remarkable solos, dizzy and charming passages, enchanting timbres, special effects, shrieky, sharp, outrageous or weird sounds, modern harmony and furious repetitions of certain rhythmes or sounds. John Butcher is the master of suggestive and innovative improvising, He switches together uncompairable ways of playing, breaking and repetitive sessions, sharp sounds, crazy ideas and shocking decisions. His improvisations are based on creative and modern point of view, fresh ideas, curiousity and wild imagination. Furious and wild bass clarinet by Philippe Lauzier make an interesting combo with active and expressive saxophones. The music also is filled with intense and vibrant melodies, roaring blow outs, vivid and dizzy solos, moving and rising culminations, breaking sessions and blowing riffs. Philippe Lauzier is a creative and masterful improviser, who manages to fuse together all different compounds in one place. Gentle, vivid, expressive, furious, wild, whistling, blowing, turbulent, passionate, roaring, luminous or simply beautiful compounds are joined together in gentle and suggestive way. Special effects, weird timbres, innovative ways of playing, marvelous playing technique also make an effort to whole sound — it makes it much more active, moving and attractive. Electric bass keeps the solid bass line and rhythmic section. It’s leaded by Éric Normand, another one great improviser. Musician tries out extended and new ways of playing, fuse them with the traditions of 1960’s avant-garde jazz, as well as progressive, contemporary, modern and other jazz styles. Intense rhythmic, breaking and repetitive sessions, aggressive series, moving and passionate melodies who gently fit with furious bursts of energy, wild and expressive passages, sparkling solos, turbulent culminations or deep, tight and stable tunes of bass line. Musician joins together numerous of different sounds, timbres and rhythms. All three musicians are great and innovative jazz masters. They don’t hesitate to use shocking, crazy or scandalous ways of playing, innovative ideas of improvising, eclectic or weird combos and other innovations of avant-garde jazz. Music is fresh, evocative and bright.

… adventurous and passionate. […] Music is fresh, evocative and bright.

Review

Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes, 23 janvier 2019
lundi 28 janvier 2019 Presse

This record comprises the performances of two Phill Niblock scores, Disseminate from 1998 and the title track, first conceived in 2011. For the occasion, the composer worked with Quatuor Bozzini (Clemens Merkel, Alissa Cheung, Stéphanie Bozzini, Isabelle Bozzini) with the aim of multiplying the string quartet’s voices and overall muscle. The procedure is synthetically explained in the liner notes, so I won’t bother repeating it here; moreover, Niblock’s ways of assembling his cascading microtonal drones are (hopefully) well known to the readers of this blog. Let me just remind the brightness of a man who, armed with a mere laptop, still manages to produce unlikely levels of psychophysical correspondence with the invisible forces of our environment.

This version of Disseminate stands among the mightiest episodes met over decades of acquaintance with Niblock’s material. Its character is extraordinarily “in your face”; the self is symbolically invited to get out of the way, an army of shifting pitches developing a totality of quivering intensities striving to reach the perfection of an all-encompassing embrace. Baobab starts with a quasi-tonal affirmation, its enormous strength actually giving a chance to believe we’re hearing a steady chord. With the passage of time, the congenital jarring features start breaking through: right there the fun begins, internal rhythms and oscillations projecting a sense of cerebral and spiritual completion that no spoken or written word will ever be able to equal. The whole appears at once imperial and utterly instructive.

Aside from the usual advice — namely, playing this music loud for an improved functionality of the adjacent upper partials — one can only dream about the average brain finally learning to decode and accept the complexity of a mass of contiguous tones, regardless of someone’s dictations on “consonance” and “dissonance”. As the initiator himself said, it is what it is; the spaces may be completely filled by the sounds, but the ultimate outcome is the silence of the mind. Kudos then to Quatuor Bozzini, who finely rendered an essential concept of Niblock’s vision: the instrumentalist — a fundamental injector of sonic fluids — is nevertheless a means to an awesome end.

This version of Disseminate stands among the mightiest episodes met over decades of acquaintance with Niblock’s material. Its character is extraordinarily “in your face”

Top-ten classical albums of 2018

Kate Molleson, Herald Scotland, 26 décembre 2018
mercredi 9 janvier 2019 Presse

The Canadian music series on Another Timbre is a thing of multifarious wonders. Ten portrait CDs championing music by Linda Catlin Smith, Martin Arnold, Isaiah Ceccarelli, Christopher Mayo and several others. The scope, the focus — it’s all compelling. No blunt conclusions are drawn about what Canadianness might mean in music, but I’m intrigued by Martin Arnold’s suggestion that it might have something to do with “slack” — by which he means a loose relationship to tradition, an open space upon which to make things new. Many of the discs in the series deserve mention here but Cassandra Miller’s music has knocked me sideways. Bold, kind-hearted, wistful, brave, simple, sophisticated… her string quartet About Bach is miraculously beautiful, with a bright, lonely violin drifting resolutely above the most gorgeous shapeshifting chorales.

Cassandra Miller’s music has knocked me sideways.

Review

Stuart Broomer, Musicworks, no 132, 1 décembre 2018
mardi 18 décembre 2018 Presse

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The intense focus on dynamics, […] at times results in pieces so spare and quiet that the trio seems to be polishing silence into sound, sound into silence.

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