BLG, Downtown Music Gallery, September 24, 2004

It seems that French contrabassists supreme, Joëlle Léandre, loves the duo situation and consistently finds players worldwide worthy of her collaborations. Up at the Guelph Jazz Fest a couple of weeks ago, she played a marvelous duo set with violinist India Cooke. Joëlle seeks out great partners, both well-known and little known. Check out this short list: Rüdiger Carl, Irène Schweizer, Mark Nauseef, Carlos Zingaro, Giorgio Occhipinti, Tetsu Saitoh and François Houle. Can’t say that I’ve heard of Gianni Lenoci before, but he does have three trio CDs out on Splasch and is a member of the Eugenio Colombo Quartet. Besides modern jazz, Gianni performs the music of modern composers like Morton Feldman and John Cage. The title of this CD means “certain to swing” [sic], but I believe they this is meant in jest. This CD consists of 14 shorter pieces. Each piece shows the different styles, approaches and sonic palette that both of these players draw from. Plucking, bowing, rubbing and banging on her bass strings as Gianni also plays inside the piano with assorted objects as well as a variety of cautious, quietly intense and occasionally dreamy sounds on the piano keyboard. Although this is the first time that Joëlle and Gianni had worked together, it is certainly hard to tell, since they work so well together. Another wonderful collaboration from the consistently great Joëlle Léandre.

Another wonderful collaboration from the consistently great Joëlle Léandre.