Birds Abide

Barre Phillips, Catherine Jauniaux, Malcolm Goldstein

En résumé: poignant. Le son du grisli, France

Birds Abide is a great record, the remarkable fusion of three profound souls constantly striving for shared excellence. The Squid’s Ear, USA

Recorded at the 26th Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville, May 22, 2010.

“This set was my favorite one of the entire Festival. It was most magical and flowed organically. For me, this was the perfect trio, with Malcolm on the high end, Barre on the low end and Catherine somewhere in the middle with her immensely charming voice & presence. I kept thinking that this trio is perfect, communicating on a high level and taking us with them on an inner journey that only our fearless fellow travelers could do.” — Bruce Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery

CD (VICTO 119)

  • Label: Victo
  • VICTO 119
  • 2011
  • UCC 777405011923
  • Total duration: 64:14
  • 127 mm × 142 mm × 6 mm
  • 60 g

On the web

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In the press


Luc Bouquet, Le son du grisli, November 7, 2011

À Victoriaville, le 22 mai de l’année dernière, Barre Phillips, Catherine Jauniaux et Malcolm Goldstein avaient jugé utile de n’être qu’eux-mêmes et rien qu’eux-mêmes.

Sur scène, les voici donc investis, sourds aux distractions extérieures et sensibles aux sollicitations de chacun. Oui, unis et liés par cet art du délestement qu’ils n’ont plus à prouver mais à maintenir et à renouveler (ne change rien pour que tout soit différent disait tonton JLG dans ses Histoire (s) du cinéma). Alors, ils partagent, se rebellent, se suivent, s’opposent sans se disperser.

Les histoires amorcées par Catherine Jauniaux avortent ou sont rendues incompréhensibles par le phrasé fissuré de la chanteuse. Qu’importe: le tableau a déjà changé de teinte. Maintenant, ils tressent et détressent, rompent ou entretiennent l’unisson. Parfois, d’une mélopée incertaine surgissent les traces d’un chant ancestral. Parfois, le violon est maître alors que la contrebasse n’est que d’accompagnement ou de soulagement. Mais toujours d’écoute. Parfois duo, presque toujours trio. En résumé: poignant.

En résumé: poignant.

Heard In

Massimo Ricci, The Squid’s Ear, July 6, 2011

Reporting on records by artists whose standing equals that of Phillips, Jauniaux and Goldstein is getting harder and harder. The typical stratagem of employing the review’s first half to recount an artist’s career in pills, thus smartly reducing the analytical space, is not acceptable to this writer. On the other hand, the propensity for enthusiasm in front of an unimpeachable release is malignantly stigmatized by incompetent members of the official intelligentsia.

Make no mistake, though: Birds Abide is a great record, the remarkable fusion of three profound souls constantly striving for shared excellence. The set — recorded at the Victoriaville Festival in May 2010 — consists of six tracks that communicate urgency, theatrical qualities, extraordinary technical prowess and the sort of enlightened quest for unlikelihood that pushes an improvising artist to choose the less expected move. In this particular case the attitude is totally winning, the resulting music appearing as a crying-and-kicking newborn creature.

Jauniaux is definitively back to her highest highs, a voice able to scintillate, peep, squirrel-talk and cut like a sword. Occasionally she’s also a fine imitator of her partners’ string-based expressiveness, the fruit of decades of manual practice but — above all — of a complete development of the ability of listening interactively. Goldstein’s violin generates fragile fireflies, hard crumbles and melodic splinters, the emotional control remaining consistent throughout. Phillips sustains the influence of the lower frequencies adding a stouter percussiveness without flinching when necessary; his participation in the performance’s more elegiac circumstances — the moments in which the trio really becomes a single, multi-faceted entity — is certainly essential. Exactly as is this album, which one feels glad to hold after a mere couple of listens.

Birds Abide is a great record, the remarkable fusion of three profound souls constantly striving for shared excellence.