Pianist Guillaume de Chassy insists that Silences is inspired by the example of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre's late-1950s trio recordings. To be sure, like those records, this album is marked by intimacy and introspection, a strong clarinet sound and no drummer. But Silences, recorded at a French abbey, doesn't sound much like Giuffre's records--nor indeed, like much of jazz, at first blush.It's not at first clear just what this piano-clarinet-bass formation is up to. The helpfully titled Birth of a Trio" provides clues. It shows just how much this music shares with jazz--improvisation, first of all; and empathy, the ...read more
Pianist Guillaume de Chassy and bassist Daniel Yvinec tend to be rigorously conceptual in their approach to making records. Previous albums revolved around the jazz treatment of classic French chansons on Chansons sous les bombes (Bee Jazz, 2004), a documentary-like set of jazz chestnuts with vocals contributed by New Yorkers encountered on the street on Wonderful World (Bee Jazz, 2005), and standards played without their melodic lines and given titles from Gary Larson cartoons on Ghost of a Song (Juste une Trace, 2003).
Restricting themselves this time round to songs from the twentieth century is a relatively loose concept. De ...read more
Faraway So Close is a trio offering from pianist Guillaume de Chassy, whose previous recording, Piano Solo (Bee Jazz, 2007), was completely engrossing in its trenchant beauty. This album projects the same depth, sincerity and directness of communication as the former one, but in a trio setting. Music is mysterious in the manner in which its affects are felt. The piano, with its mechanical action, adds a further layer to the puzzle, as Jon Balke made clear on Book of Velocities (ECM, 2008). De Chassy's keyboard touch is remarkable for its liquid clarity and supports his seeming ...read more
On the heels of two highly-acclaimed duet recordings with bassist Daniel Yvinec (the latter recently named to head France's National Jazz Orchestra), pianist Guillaume de Chassy last year released a remarkable Piano solo (Bee Jazz, 2007). You see the trend: duo, solo--the band can't get any smaller, so de Chassy has released a record for piano trio. It's characteristic of de Chassy's deliberate premeditation that he changes formats in this incremental way. Everything about the new record reflects this same careful musical intelligence. The pianist's band mates have been effectively chosen. Bassist Stéphane Kérécki plays with ...read more
Piano Solo, which took a long time to come to fruition, is a marvelous set that manages, in a mysterious way, to convey as much about pianist Guillaume de Chassy through his music as the wonderful interview does through words. The relationship between music and words is complex and writing or talking about music at times seems utterly pointless. One of the joys of jazz is that you never know what wonders will be presented to your ears and mind from the CD you have just put in the player. Ruining the possibility of that experience with ...read more
February 2007, Paris: Pianist Guillaume de Chassy has just recorded his first solo piano album and he is performing an entirely solo set at the Archipel theater to celebrate its release. If he's nervous, it doesn't show; he jokes easily with the appreciative crowd, leading them through the by-ways of the musical journey that led him to this stage. The easy-going affability is deceptive; when he begins to play, de Chassy is all concentration.I met with de Chassy a couple of weeks before the Archipel date at his home in a quiet suburb south of Paris. The French ...read more