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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benoit Delbecq / Francois Houle: Because She Hoped

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The superior recording quality, tinged with reverb and a capacious aesthetic, serves as a third instrument on this studio recording by French pianist Benoit Delbecq and Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle. Both artists occupy that progressive, cutting-edge space within modern jazz contexts. With their third duo outing, the musicians use extended techniques in an intimate setting. Here, unorthodox treatments coalesce with sublime dialogues, spiking breakouts and melodic intervals, all executed with a sense of intimacy. Ethereal, and at times economical in scope, the duo exercises rhythmic tapping maneuvers and other extraneous sounds often centered on fragile underpinnings. Delbecq's “Ando," ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Benoit Delbecq: The Sixth Jump / Circles and Calligrams

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Pianist Benoît Delbecq makes his debut trio recording with The Sixth Jump, released simultaneously with Circles and Calligrams, which Delbecq describes in a solo outing. The first disc amplifies his skills as an empathic leader whose inventive thematic explorations are woven in spontaneous interaction with his mates. The second lets him explore the dynamics of the piano elaborately, his sense of purpose expressively accomplished.Benoit Delbecq TrioThe Sixth JumpSonglines2010 Delbecq uses the vantage point of the trio to set up a series of sonic structures. He is the centrifugal force as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andy Milne / Benoit Delbecq: Where is Pannonica?

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Occasioned by a commission from Chamber Music America's French-America Jazz Exchange and realized during a three-week composing/recording residency at the Banff Centre in Canada in 2008, this is a fascinating project, pushing the boundaries of the piano duo format. Using Steinway D grands that were often--mostly in Benoit Delbecq's case--altered with prepared devices (objects on strings) and alternative playing techniques (strumming or hitting strings inside the piano), plus manipulating sounds with five-channel effects, the subtle use of electronics and a Dlooper audio application on some tracks, the two musicians have created unique soundscapes while managing to maintain a dominantly pianistic ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Andy Milne & Benoit Delbecq: Where Is Pannonica?

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Andy Milne & Benoit Delbecq Where Is Pannonica? Songlines Recordings 2009

Welcome to the third dimension. The product of their 2008 winter residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada, Where Is Pannonica? seals the longstanding, twinlike affinity between pianists Andy Milne and Benoit Delbecq in one truly astonishing soundscape. And although Nantes puts itself forward as an answer to the title's inquiry, it's possible the question is instead concerned with identifying all manifestations of the late jazz loving baroness' influence--as one would with a certain Waldo--hiding in this musical shivaree. Sure ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andy Milne and Benoit Delbecq: Where is Pannonica?

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At times while listening to pianists Andy Milne and Benoit Delbecq's Where is Pannonica? you may find yourself asking, “where is the piano?" Which isn't to say that traditional piano tones are ever completely silenced on the record, but that they are rarely the only tones. On three tunes, Delbecq is cited as using Dlooper, an audio application that, according to the pianist, is “a multi-track looper that can superimpose eight stereo channels, and output them on eight different channels." But percussive clicks and knocks and rhythmic strumming--all derived from pianos--flush out many of the other pieces as well.

Milne ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Francois Houle / Evan Parker / Benoit Delbecq: La Lumire de Pierres

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Recorded at the Innovations concert series in Montreal in 2005, this trio teams Evan Parker with the established duo of Benoit Delbecq and François Houle, who have been together for a decade. The pair is known to play a wide variety of music--from classical to world to jazz and improvisation--all of it extremely well. Both technically and temperamentally, they are suited to Parker; the threesome sound well-adjusted to each others' instincts, and should as this was not just a one-off meeting; there are plans for the threesome to tour in 2008.

The music here consists of three tracks ranging from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benoit Delbecq: Phonetics

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Benoît Delbecq is a unique and diligent musical explorer who deserves your listening attention. Phonetics and some recent performances provide a helpful introduction to two very developed aspects of his musical being. In his solo piano playing (heard at the Jazz Gallery last month) Delbecq used a prepared piano technique that turned his grand piano into a grand African thumb piano of sorts. It was no mere gimmick: Delbecq carefully changed the “preparations while he talked to the audience about the upcoming piece, resulting in a singular sonic landscape. The conceptual overlap between most ...



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