The first collaboration between prolific French double bass and free-improvisation master Joëlle Léandre and fellow countryman, guitarist Serge Teyssot-Gayfounder of French progressive bands Noir Désir and Interzone, and affiliated with the experimental and more arty side rockmay not seem a natural fit. But this live recording from a benefit concert for the Point Ephémère magazine demonstrates that the two share a lot in common.
Léandre and Teyssot-Gay weave patiently, carefully built and multilayered textures. Often these textures offer cinematic and dramatic narratives, even surprisingly lyrical ones as the fifth improvisation,"4.29," while others are elaborate, physical and timbral searches, such as the longer and more minimal "10.11." Both Léandre and Teyssot-Gay are masters of extended techniques, and their immediate instincts contribute to this duet's rich musical language. Teyssot-Gay opts for intricate, atmospheric sound-worlds that serve as the basis for Léandre's more turbulent improvisations, mainly when she adds her operatic voice in a free flow of theatrical, onomatopoeic vocal associations on "6.33" and "7.42." The use of Léandre's voice stresses her humor, feeling of revolt and resistant stand against any and all artistic categorization. Only the short "2.54" develops as a real free improvisation that pushes the sonic boundaries of these two gifted musicians and confirms the true dialogue between them.
True music, as found on this set of improvisations, does not easily lend itself to convention or genre, but its validity is beyond doubt.
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.