All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

6

Daunik Lazro / Joëlle Léandre: Hasparren

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Whether one rates a free improv album or not can be notoriously subjective, depending as much on the listener's mood as any musical attribute. So when a recital comes along by two of France's most adventurous musicians where everything seems to just click, it's worth teasing out what makes it such a success. Let's be clear, it's not background music. To get the most from it requires some concentration. Perhaps headphones. That way the near perfect interaction between Daunik Lazro's supple baritone saxophone and Joelle Leandre's virtuoso bass fizzes between the ears, sparking synapses as it goes.

It helps that they share such an extensive history, meaning that they are well aware of each other's capabilities, and perform accordingly. Their first documented meeting was in 1983 on the reedman's Sweet Zee (Hat Art, 2010), with a series of further encounters over the intervening years. However Hasparren is their first recording just as a duo. Being so well established on the European scene, neither feels the need to flaunt their undoubted chops. In fact Lazro's sustained phrases on the opening cut are a stunningly simple but nonetheless effective foil for Léandre's fluent sawing.

Though there is a clear lower register affinity between the two instrumentalists, both are so adept at stretching the putative ranges of their instruments that there's no need to worry about a narrow sound spectrum. Of course each demonstrates peerless control. Lazro's split tones and dog-bothering whistles at the start of "Hasparren IV" are artfully restrained yet edgy, while Léandre 's extended technique remains as marvellous as ever. Their choices of how closely to follow and when to oppose have a feel of inevitability.

As befits experienced improvisers both possess an innate sense of how to structure on the fly. Léandre does so most obviously on the unaccompanied "Hasparren V" where a bow bouncing introductory figure recurs as a motif throughout the piece, contrasting with an expressive sequence of slurred notes and singing lines exploiting the bass' harmonics, before ushering in the poised final reiteration. Spontaneous allusions to melody and rhythm surface periodically, hinting at links to wider traditions. In the end it's all about intense listening and apparently effortless communication between two distinctive individual voices which combine to convey tremendous emotional depth.

Track Listing: Hasparren I; Hasparren II; Hasparren III; Hasparren IV; Hasparren V; Hasparren VI.

Personnel: Daunik Lazro: baritone saxophone; Joëlle Léandre: double bass, voice.

Title: Hasparren | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Hasparren

Hasparren

NoBusiness Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Visiting Texture" CD/LP/Track Review Visiting Texture
by John Sharpe
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Involution" CD/LP/Track Review Involution
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 6, 2018
Read "Runnin' for the Ghost" CD/LP/Track Review Runnin' for the Ghost
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 1, 2017
Read "Ella Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Ella Lives
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Doug Collette
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Antidote" CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017