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...

343

Pierre Favre: Fleuve

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
With Fleuve, drummer and percussionist Pierre Favre demonstrates that not only is he a master of his instrument, but he also has complete command in the fields of composition and arrangement.

The music dances (often literally), and is light, airy and transparent. Favre seems to go out of his way to choose instrumentation that works against such a result by being bottom-heavy: acoustic and electric bass, tuba, serpent and bass clarinet are included. However, to lighten things, soprano saxophone is used instead of bass clarinet at times, while harp and guitar are added to the mix; plus, of course, Favre's precise and light drums and percussion.

Favre does not fall at the Paul Motian end of drums/percussion as sound instrument, since he does like a pulse, if not a swinging beat. The music contains its own pulse much of the time and does not need strong emphasis from Favre; the only real drum solo occurs in the last third of the last track, "Decors." However, he does seem to have a predilection for the percussion equivalent of a pedal point.

The opening track, "Mort d'Eurydice," has a free section involving harp and percussion, followed by a central section with a heart-like rhythm set up by the bass. It is realized into a dance by the unison declamation of its beautiful theme by soprano sax, bass, guitar and harp. "Nile" is mostly supported by a steady bass drum against which the other instruments play. "Mort d'Eurydice" and "Decors," which both allude to Renaissance music, demonstrate the importance of rhythm as dance in this music, as does the delicate waltz of "Panama."

There are four keys to the music's overall light texture: the arrangements, controlling which instruments are playing at any one time; the use of various instruments playing in unison; the fact that low instruments are generally played in their higher registers; and finally, the touch used by the bassists.

It is fascinating to listen to the music unfold, observing the tension between composition, arrangement and improvisation, while the texture remains light as the instrumentation changes.

Fleuve is timeless, despite its allusions, with each track adding its own charm and excitement. "Albatross" has a gorgeous melody and an intensely concentrated solo guitar, while "Reflet Sud" contains driving rhythms and creates excitement using few materials. "Nile" projects arpeggio wavelets and the majestic flow of the great river, while "Decors" creates tension by continually shifting between Renaissance dance and African polyrhythms.

Favre has created music of many layers that exists totally outside of any specific genre. By turns profound, exciting and overtly beautiful, Fleuve is art of the highest degree.


Track Listing: Mort d'Eurydice; Panama; Albatros; Reflet Sud; Fire Red - Gas Blue - Ghost Green; Nile; Decors.

Personnel: Philipp Schaufelberger: guitar; Frank Kroll: soprano saxophone, bass clarinet; Hélène Breschand: harp; Michel Godard: tuba, serpent; Wolfgang Zwiauer: bass guitar; Bänz Oester: bass; Pierre Favre: percussion, drums.

Title: Fleuve | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

Drums And Dreams

Unit Records
2012

buy
Albatros

Albatros

Intakt Records
2011

buy
Le Voyage

Le Voyage

Intakt Records
2011

buy
Vol A Voile

Vol A Voile

Intakt Records
2010

buy
Albatros

Albatros

Intakt Records
2010

buy
 

Vol à Voile

Unit Records
2010

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019