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Jazz Articles about Club d'Elf

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Album Review

Club d'Elf: You Never Know

Read "You Never Know" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


You Never Know is the Club d'Elf studio album that captures the whirling, overlapping orbits of acoustic, electric and exotic sounds of the floating improvisational collective, which has recorded and performed together for more than two decades, with crisp studio clarity. But more importantly, You Never Know celebrates light born from darkness. Bassist and bandleader Mike Rivard, the sole constant in the collective's 24-year run, suffered a near-death experience from a pulmonary embolism which struck him while he ...

10

Album Review

Club D'Elf: You Never Know

Read "You Never Know" reviewed by Chris May


Near-death experiences can reboot the mind, separating the important from the trivial. It seems to have worked like that for bassist and composer Mike Rivard, founder and leader of Boston's world-dub-jazz band Club D'Elf. A few years back, Rivard was nearly felled by a pulmonary embolism while seeking spiritual insight in the Amazonian rain forest. A long, dark period of depression followed, before Rivard emerged recharged into the light, having been sustained in large part by gnawa, the Moroccan trance ...

4

Album Review

Club d'Elf: Night Sparkles

Read "Night Sparkles" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


On December 16, 2011, bassist and bandleader Mike Rivard and the rest of the floating Club d'Elf instrumental ensemble assembled at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge (MA), for their regular gig at the regular location in the extended live residency that the band began at the Lounge back in 1998 (and continues to this day). Guest musicians often dropped in after finishing their own Boston area gigs to join the Club and this evening would prove no exception, as Boston ...

2

Album Review

Club d'Elf: Night Sparkles

Read "Night Sparkles" reviewed by Doug Collette


Night Sparkles follows bassist/sintirist Mike Rivard on his continuing adventures into the “Moroccan-based psychedelic dub" style he initiated with Club D'Elf in the 1990s. It's altogether remarkable he's managed to formulate such a novel approach to improvisational music while juggling the near-perpetual rotating cast of personnel, but it is to the great credit of the titular leader that his stewardship encourages invention from his bandmates, whoever they may be (in the not so recent past, keyboardist John Medeski and guitarist ...

2

Radio & Podcasts

NY Free Quartet, Michael Gregory Jackson & Marc Jufer

Read "NY Free Quartet, Michael Gregory Jackson & Marc Jufer" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


There's a wide variety of great tunes this episode: Club D'Elf kicks it off with the title track to their latest live set, saxophonist Muriel Grossmann and her quartet acknowledge the musical and mystical paths of John Coltrane, the New York Free Quartet's Dream Time marks their return to releasing excellent work, and the very influential guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson's latest debuts. There's more, of course, from Swiss tenor player Marc Jufer and trio, and the Frenchmen Stéphan Oliva and ...

9

Album Review

Club d'Elf: Night Sparkles

Read "Night Sparkles" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


For the Boston, Massachusetts-based Club d'Elf, the boundaries are long gone; they may never have been there to start with. Almost twenty years ago, the group debuted with Live at The Lizard Lounge (Grapeshot Media, 2000), an amalgam of jazz, electronica, hip hop, and funk. At times, the group (always a fluid entity) has included accordion, oud, didgeridoo, doumbek and qaraqab standing comfortably next to guitars, bass, keyboards, and horns. If it weren't obvious from the instrumentation, this is not ...

8

Album Review

Club d'Elf: Live at Club Helsinki

Read "Live at Club Helsinki" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Club d'Elf and their sprawling live records present a unique challenge to folks who write about them. This double Live at Club Helsinki set reveals every modern style and multiple Moroccan rhythms (except for opera and bluegrass--maybe). But often we want so much to relate or explain these sounds, and there's so much going on in so many different combinations, that our explanations eventually grow so complicated that they lose their soul. Soulless is no way to address this music. ...


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