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Review

Marc Chénard, Coda Magazine, no 307, 1 janvier 2005

This latest in a steady stream of discs pumped out by the ubiquitous Joëlle Léandre pairs her with a like-minded improviser, the southern Italian pianist and educator Gianni Lenoci. Its title, meaning "On a Seesaw," is an appropriate one, too, for we can almost "see" the pianist at his ivories, pinching strings and what not, and Madame la Contrebasse herself "sawing" away in all but one of the fourteen tracks, each called Sur une balançoire No. 1-14. A compact recording in the best sense of the term, its total length of 45 minutes is a relief to the loads of overextended CDs cut nowadays. The predominant use of the bow by Léandre certainly draws the music away from the jazz orbit, and gives it more of a contemporary music feel; in so doing, there is nothing of the traditional division of labor between lead voice and accompanist, but a “balanced” rapport between them, and hence the title, most probably. This release makes for interesting comparative listening with a previous Leandre CD, Signature on the Red Toucan label, with two Japanese pianists. That said, I am sure that by the time this review appears, there will be more CDs popping out of the woodwork in this bassist’s record-of-the-month club. So please stay tuned… at least if you can keep up with her.

… there is nothing of the traditional division of labor between lead voice and accompanist, but a “balanced” rapport between them, and hence the title, most probably.

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