All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Elliott Sharp: Chansons Du Crepuscule

Don Phipps By

Sign in to view read count
In Chansons Du Crepuscule, the French multi-genre vocalist, harpist, composer and improvisor Hélène Breschand hooks up with the multi-genre New York guitarist Elliott Sharp to yield spell-binding music of the first order. This fascinating collaboration crosses musical genres as easily as a nuthatch jumps from a birch tree to a cedar and then to a hickory. But since jazz has elements of all music embedded within its frame work, it's not a significant leap to suggest that Chansons Du Crepuscule falls within the broader outlines of the category.

There's a radical sense of play in this music. Breschand's French poetry and vocal expression perfectly accompanies the experimental elements of Sharp's guitar work. Take for example the opening cut, the aggressive and rollicking cave dance "Extase," with its coyote howls at the moonlight. Or consider Sharp's monkish chants that seem to emanate from dark chambers in "La langue dans ma bouche." Then there's "Je t'aime tant"—a slow sauntering across a dreamscape of sound. Breschand uses her voice to great affect at the 2-minute mark, as she slides her vocal up and down in a plaintive plea.

The duo cover "The Cuckoo," a traditional blues tune. Clearly a highlight, Sharp starts with a bluesy riff that rolls like a slow night drive down a Tom Waits greasy-spoon lined backstreet alley. Sharp accompanies this riff with a deep vocal that provides two drops of the sinister with a pinch of the surreal. The closing minute, when the guitar takes off on a flight of fancy, stretches the imagination.

The peaceful "Amor" provides another dimension. It begins with the lower register of Sharp's guitar and winds through an hallucinogenic Breschand vocal and harp in a solemn, almost prayerful expression. The "Le bloque cri" suggests a room of mirrors, where sounds seem to bounce off each other underneath the soulful Breschand vocal. The surreal effect is bolstered by the vocals of Sharp at the 3:40 mark.

Consider this edge-walking music—where the id meets the ego—skirting the surfaces and ridges of sound while pushing the listener along its explorations. Nowhere is this walk more lyrical than in the song "Le dernier." It reminds one of some lost black and white New Wave cinematic scene of lovers walking along the Seine.

Pity those who live their lives without open ears. Pity those who live their lives without jazz. And pity those who fail to give this music a spin. This music is that good. Highly recommended.

Track Listing: Extase; La langue dans ma bouche; Je t’aime tant; Ne lui dis rien; Goutte A goutte; The Cuckoo; Amor; Le bloque cri; Nouveau monde; Le dernier mot; Chose Rose

Personnel: Elliott Sharp: Guitar, Vocals; Hélène Breschand: Harp, Vocals

Title: Chansons Du Crepuscule | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Public Eyesore

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
Read more articles
Chansons Du Crepuscule

Chansons Du Crepuscule

Public Eyesore
2017

buy
Dialectrical

Dialectrical

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
Err Guitar

Err Guitar

Intakt Records
2017

buy
Port Bou

Port Bou

Infrequent Seams
2017

buy
Sharp? Monk? Sharp! Monk!

Sharp? Monk? Sharp!...

Clean Feed Records
2015

buy
Momentum Anomaly

Momentum Anomaly

New Atlantis Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Don't Look Down" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Look Down
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Door Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Leading The British Invasion" CD/LP/Track Review Leading The British Invasion
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "Eleven Cages" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "In-House Science" CD/LP/Track Review In-House Science
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 9, 2018