Quella di Nisenson è una musica molto sanguigna e ritmica che trae dalle radici etniche (sospese tra il gitano e il klezmer) la sua linfa vitale… — Wonderous Stories, Italy
Il réussit encore une fois à surprendre avec ses savants dosages et sa direction impeccable. — SOCAN, Paroles & Musique, Canada
Recorded live in Montréal in December 2007, the new CD by Trio Damian Nisenson +3 features saxman Damian Nisenson’s own compositions, performed by the trio and their three special guests: Luzio Altobelli, Denis Plante, and Ziya Tabassian. At the heart of this album we find Nisenson’s music, informed by Jewish influences and Buenos Aires’s underground, and here delivered with gusto and brio.
CD (MAM 008)
- Label: Malasartes musique
- MAM 008 / 2008
- UCC 771028225828
- 128 mm × 140 mm × 4 mm
- 40 g
When I was child in Buenos Aires, in the family celebrations we used to dance and sing a lot, we could hear the old men of the family «speak politics» in Yiddish, so that we, the children, could not understand. Then I became a teenager, the old men were too old; no more dance, no more Yiddish. We spoke a lot of politics, but in Spanish! Some twenty years later, already a musician, I asked myself: which is my folk music the one that transcends me, the one that speaks about my origins, about my ancestry? And there it was, the music of my childhood, this music of the Jews of Eastern Europe we call today ‘Klezmer’. And I started to hear it, play it, know it.
And one day I asked myself another question: what would the Jewish music have become if the Shoa — the Holocaust — had not taken place? Futile question, but nevertheless relevant for a Jewish musician. This music was the sonic landscape of the marriages, Bar Mitzvah, funerals of the 6 million Jews that disappear in smoke. This music is their echo, the echo of their laughter and their tears, their kisses and their quarrels. This music would have changed, as they also would have changed. Nowadays they would watch TV, like us, they would go in bars, like us, their music would mix with other musics.
But that did not arrive. They died and this music remained frozen. We play it again today, to do what? To speak only about what we were? Of what we could have been? Me, I want to sing what we are, we are jazz, we are rock’n’roll, we are ski and Internet, red wine and barbecue. And Jews. And I would like to make my small contribution so that this music arrives at the 21st century to sing 21st century stories, mine, yours, ours.
This CD recorded in concert is basically a disc of contemporary jazz, each song has an important amount of improvisation, the solos follow one another, there are moments of collective impro also… and it is at the same time a disc of Jewish music, first of all because it is music composed by a Jewish composer, as secular as I can be, and because the melodies are inhabited by ‘dibukk’, spirits that sailed away in the empty pockets of my grandparents from Odessa, Kishinev, Dubossar…
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In the press
The bandoneon and accordion have begun to show up lately in more jazz-oriented company. Even though they have a reedy sound, they are both basically keyboard instruments and can blend easily with a piano or readily substitute for one. (…)
Damian Nisenson’s Damian Nisenson Trio +3 en concert dispenses with the piano in its configuration and uses both bandoneon and accordion instead. Nisenson is heard on soprano, alto and tenor sax and is the featured player. Recorded in concert in Quebec, this session has all original material, sounding more like Klezmer than jazz. The accordion and bandoneon ably provide the ‘bottom’ for the sound of the group. The emphasis is on the rhythm and invites one to get up and dance; the final track Hora is appropriately titled. Despite instruments from different traditions, the musicians work well together to deliver a cohesive presentation. (…)
Artista eclettico (oltre che musicista pare che sia anche attore), Damian Nisenson è un sassofonista di origini argentine che, prima del suo arrivo a Montréal, ha vissuto e studiato musica in Europa dal 1977 al 1984. La sua discografia, completa di collaborazioni, conta già sei uscite di cui due come solista/leader. In effetti l’ambiente creativo in cui il poliedrico fiatista pare muoversi con più famigliarità è il trio: da qui il suo esordio come titolare in Muzika del 2006 accompagnato dal contrabbasso di Jean Félix Mailloux e dalle percussioni del ben noto Pierre Tanguay. Quella di Nisenson è una musica molto sanguigna e ritmica che trae dalle radici etniche (sospese tra il gitano e il klezmer) la sua linfa vitale avvicinandosi in questo a quella miriade di progetti “new klezmer” gravitanti attorno ad un altro musicista inafferrabile che, come Damian, ha sviluppato un fiatismo borderline e radicale, vale a dire John Zorn. Di grande impatto emotivo Supper’s Ready (niente a che fare con quella di genesisiana memoria) dove il nostro spinge le sonorità dei suoi sax a livelli assai contigui all’africanità di un Archie Shepp così come il quieto respiro di Paspire dove il suo tenore fraseggia con i piatti di Tanguay e il basso “archettato” di Mailloux.
Sulla stessa frequenza il live del 2008 che vede il Nostro allargare i propri orizzonti creativi aprendo il proprio trio alle percussioni di Ziya Tabassian, la fisarmonica di Luzio Altobelli e il bandoneon di Denis Plante conferendo al tutto tonalità ancor più marcatemene etniche. Molto d’impatto l’inaugurale Drose Dubke (già presente nel lavoro precedente) con il sopranino del leader in ottima evidenza così come l’inedita Piegrande dai toni gitano-klezmer parecchio marcati grazie anche alle timbriche delle tastiere. Stessa atmosfera (ma ancor più danzereccia e quasi tribale) in Chanson de q che si va a sciogliere nelle note dilatati e quasi dolenti di Tempo (presente anch’essa in Muzika). La sommessa tensione di Hora (dopo i begli episodi di Paspire, Ninguneo, Supper’s Ready e Chanson de rue #6) conclude nei migliori dei modi questa seconda, notevole, prova del musicista argentino.
Installé à Montréal depuis 2004, le saxophoniste argentin Damian Nisenson nous présente son plus récent album, enregistré en concert en décembre 2007. Doté d’une expérience et d’une versatilité hors du commun, il met à profit sa grande créativité afin d’être toujours à l’avant-garde de la musique contemporaine. Il réussit encore une fois à surprendre avec ses savants dosages et sa direction impeccable. Le plaisir incroyable du premier abord ne se dément pas mais demeure plutôt comme un incitatif à une écoute plus approfondie.
Nisenson with his trio delivers us a more engaging melting pot and he has his biographical reasons for doing so. We will come to that later. Besides Nisenson himself on saxes, we hear Pierre Tanguay (drums) and Jean Félix Mailloux (bass), plus three guests: Ziya Tabassian (percussion), Luzio Altobelli (accordeon) and Denis Plante (bandonéon). Most compositions are by Damian Nisenson himself. We hear a live registration dating from december 2007. Nisenson takes his inspiration from Eastern Europe and Jewish music traditions. We hear many motives that sound familiar with we have heard before on so many klezmer records. Nisenson who grew up in Argentina is of jewish origin. In his youth he was surrounded by an older generation that spoke yiddish. But later he drifted away from his jewish roots. Only much later his jewish roots came back in his thoughts. “And one day I asked myself another question: what would the Jewish music have become if the Shoa — the Holocaust — had not taken place?” We will never know of course. But with this project Nisenson gives in fact his answer to this question by giving room to the jewish culture that is part of his biography.
It is not the kind of project that tries to reconstruct as pure as possible the ‘original’ klezmer music, whatever that may be. Nisenson let his jewish motives loosely interfere with other musical traditions that formed Nisenson. With a guest on bandéneon, Denis Plante, it is evident that he also gives room to his Argentinean background. In Paspire his Argentinean roots dominate and the beautiful duet between sax and bandonéon bring that old record by Astor Piazzola and Gerry Mulligan to my mind. Chanson de rue #6 is opened with a Bo Diddly like riff, stating that also rock and roll is a relevant tradition for Nisenson. In the last track — but also in others — Nisenson tries to play like in the typical manner of jewish clarinetplayers, making clear that is above all that Nisenson wants to speak with a jewish voice on this satisfying record. Satisfying because he gives not a boring reproduction of klezmer music, but because he proves that klezmer ingredients mixed with other influences result in interesting and vivid music that appeal to many.
Monday, August 3, 2009 / Podcast
Sylvain Fortier presents the musician Damian Nisenson with selected excerpts from his release En concert. Part two of two. More
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 / Podcast
Sylvain Fortier presents the musician Damian Nisenson with selected excerpts from his releases Muzika, and En concert. Part one of two. More
Thursday, June 18, 2009 / Video
In this exclusive interview, Damian Nisenson talks about his newest album En concert. More