An outcome of unexpected opportunity this duet arose out of a companion session at CIMP's Spirit Room for the Joe Rosenberg Quartet (see also on CIMP). Guionnet and Perraud, both visiting Frenchmen, capitalized on the generous offer posed by producer Bob Rusch and set about freely improvising for the better part of an hour. In their accompanying notes the players suggest the usage of headphones and without the close sonic quarters afforded by such equipment much of the logic and subtlety of their interactions is lost.
The title ascribed to the birthed sounds loosely translates to 'chance occurrence' and truth be told that's what much it sounds like, a random aggregation of sounds strung together along a temporal trajectory. Deeper and more concentrated listening reveals patterns and fleeting thematic facets, but these require both patience and diligence in their discernment. The piece starts almost imperceptibly with a quiet succession of whispers and scrapes. Guionnet eventually engages in a series of sputtering Morse-Code-like segments of sound, leavened by reed pops and pa-flutters. Perraud clatters along beside him using bursts of percussive noise broken by brief snippets of silence to create tension and release.
This is music that demands either a great deal or virtually nothing from the listener depending upon his or her perspective and particular predilection for free improvisation. It's decidedly European in cast in the sense that this tradition seems more a product of Minimalist and Modern Classical leanings than anything having to do with jazz. All this being said many might find an hour's worth of found sounds and intentional abstractions more vexing than challenging. Those with an ear attenuated to such endeavors or willing to suspend their prejudices toward them in favor of the experience are likely to find themselves hypnotized by the proceedings, which do contain some startlingly serendipitous events. I myself couldn't banish the specter of structured interplay completely from my consciousness and found my mind wandering against the players rather than with them.
Track Listing: Heur (56:24)
Personnel: Jean-Luc Guionnet-alto saxophone; Edward Perraud-drums.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.