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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dans les arbres: Dans les arbres

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When French clarinetist Xavier Charles, pianist Christian Wallumrød, guitarist Ivar Grydeland and percussionist Ingar Zach appeared at Norway's Punkt Festival in 2007, they'd yet to take the name Dans les arbres, which would also become the title of this freely improvising unit's 2008 ECM debut. It's taken two years for the album to find Stateside release--anomalous for a label that has, in the past, seen some significant gaps between European and American releases, but which has, in recent years, become considerably more tightly synchronized. Released in advance of a handful of US dates in December, 2010, it's a welcome--and overdue--opportunity ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Butcher/Xavier Charles/Axel Dorner: The Contest Of Pleasures

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The occasion of this live recording was a jazz festival in Hulhouse, at the southern end of Alsace. The musicians, Jon Butcher, Xavier Charles, and Axel Dorner came together in the Chapelle Saint-Jean on a hot August day in 2000, to create spontaneous music. What was captured was on overtly patient documentation of three improvisors working with a singular purpose.

Saxophonist John Butcher has shared the stage with the likes of Derek Bailey, Georg Grawe, Phil Minton, and Fred Van Hove, but for the most part his finest efforts are found in his solo work. Like Mats Gustafsson, his strength ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Butcher - Xavier Charles - Axel Dorner: The Contest of Pleasures

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Recorded live at the “Jazz a’ Mulhouse Festival”, The Contest of Pleasures is a subtly dynamic improvising extravaganza brought to us by three forward thinking European horn men; saxophonist John Butcher, clarinetist Xavier Charles and trumpeter Axel Dorner. With this newly issued outing, the musicians’ explore abstruse regions of sound amid odd voicings, high-pitched harmonies, intricate three-way dialogue, and mechanistic tonalities.

Here, the artists’ project kaleidoscopic and at times, hypnotic motifs, awash with raspy trills, percussive statements and daintily executed micro themes that seamlessly flow into diametric angles or converging proclamations. Throughout, a sense of transience prevails, as the musicians’ ...



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