All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

CD/LP/Track Review
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

Related Articles

Read My Singing Fingers CD/LP/Track Review
My Singing Fingers
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Ain't It Grand? CD/LP/Track Review
Ain't It Grand?
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 25, 2018
Read If Not Now, When? CD/LP/Track Review
If Not Now, When?
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Perfectly Unhappy CD/LP/Track Review
Perfectly Unhappy
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Sorrows & Triumphs CD/LP/Track Review
Sorrows & Triumphs
by Jerome Wilson
Published: May 25, 2018
Read Half Light CD/LP/Track Review
Half Light
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2018
Read "Gentle Giants" CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Journey to a New World" CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Lacy Pool_2" CD/LP/Track Review Lacy Pool_2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Ellipse" CD/LP/Track Review Ellipse
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "Aladdin's Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Whisper to the Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Whisper to the Wind
by Jim Olin
Published: September 8, 2017