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Review

François Couture, AllMusic, 1 avril 2003

The album title is trite, but the concert was marvelous (yes, this reviewer was there) and the recording preserves all of its intensity and charm. This was a first meeting between Jean Derome (flutes, alto sax) and Louis Sclavis (clarinets, soprano sax). Although different, their sound worlds are highly compatible. They have both dug their way out of the jazz realm and into new, largely unexplored music trenches while keeping ties to jazz. They both use other idioms to transform jazz and turn it into something completely new. They both favor an approach that combines clever writing, wild improvising and a touch of humor and emotion. To put the project on firm ground, they agreed on a solid rhythm section of bassist Bruno Chevillon (Sclavis’ most trusted sideman) and drummer Pierre Tanguy (a regular of Derome’s bands for two decades). The quartet hit it off incredibly well. Derome penned five of the six pieces presented here. His tunes show his usual taste for elegance in odd designs and tenderness im comical gestures. The basic motif in Tu dis tout de travers, would fit nicely in the repertoire of his group Dangereux Zhoms, while his gripping bass flute solo in Jonas ranks among his best moments on record. Sclavis displays unusual levels of playfulness in Le baiser and Pas à pas. He contributes the 21-minute Suite pour un bal a cross-stylistic composition of epic proportions — including a passage where Chevillon adds a distortion pedal to his double bass. Tanguay’s lumbering rhythms (his sense of out-rhythm is unique) match Chevillon’s power plays in a quasi-rock way. The enthusiasm of the crowd is well deserved.

The quartet hit it off incredibly well.

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