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Daunik Lazro and Carlos "Zingaro": Hauts plateaux

Glenn Astarita By

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Veteran improvisers-composers Daunik Lazro and Carlos “Zingaro” have teamed up to produce a mesmerizing series of loosely structured compositions beautifully recorded at “Cite’ de la Musique” in Marseille France. The highly regarded saxophonist Lazro has performed with the creme’ de la creme’ of modern jazz improvisers; although, discovering his early roots via hard bop. Violinist “Zingaro” brings to the table classical training and finely honed improvisational prowess. This is a fascinating excursion that commences with a piece titled “Gravir la montagne”. On this cut Zingaro and Lazro achieve a tonal balance which at times sounds as though there were more instrumentalists’ participating. The discipline of Zingaro’s classical violin training compliments Lazro’s multifaceted improvisational approach, which integrates an unorthodox pairing of musical instruments while producing startling results. On “Gravir la montagne” themes are stated to placate the listener with a sense of comfort and structure. However, Lazro and Zingaro never stay within a distinct motif for any extended period of time. These applications and concepts prevail throughout all four pieces and prove to be a consistent game plan. On this track we witness the evolution of themes which resurface or completely disappear. Lazro’s high register alto saxophone prompts Zingaro to rhythmically pluck his violin strings creating a sense of movement and form. However, Zingaro is apt to launch into a searing, supercharged explosion of pyrotechnics, which augments the ongoing dynamics supplied by both musicians. On “Aires” Zingaro utilizes electronics to establish a drone sounding backwash serving as the underlying theme for an inspiring blend of flawless virtuosity and perceptive improvisation. The opening moments of this piece facilitates the anticipation of what may lurk ahead. Lazro enters with the baritone sax to ease the tension with whimsical phrasing while Zingaro shifts gears and alternates between rhythmic statements and counte

“Hauts plateaux” is a rewarding experience and the audience in attendance that night must have been sitting in awe with their jaws dropped. Remarkable and unique. “Hauts plateaux” is essential listening.


Title: Hauts plateaux | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Potlatch Records


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