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Jazzdor Strasbourg 2014

Jazzdor Strasbourg 2014
Henning Bolte By

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Jazzdor
Strasbourg
November 11-12, 2014

Jazzdor is a French festival with two annual editions. One is held in Strasbourg (France) in November and the other one in Berlin (Germany) in June. Both editions present a lot of bilateral or multilateral collaborations; an essential part of the festival's philosophy and policy. Strasbourg is the oldest, main edition spread out over two weeks in November, collaborating with the neighboring German city of Offenburg that also offers a stage for some bigger concerts held (for example, the Sound Prints Quintet of Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas). This year's edition started with the Tom Harrell Quintet on November 7 and ended with the new Charles Lloyd Quartet 'Wild Man Dance' on November 21. Two days, November 11-12, with four concerts are covered here: the Émilie Lesbros/Darius Jones Quintet, Jozef Dumoulin and The Red Hill Orchestra, cellist and visual artist Anil Eraslan, and a sextet around saxophonist Laurent Dehors with a program entitled 'Une Petite Histore de l'Opera.'

It started with two French-American configurations, the Émilie Lesbros/Darius Jones Quintet and Jozef Dumoulin's The Red Hill Orchestra. The quintet comprised alto saxophonist Darius Jones, pianist Mat Mitchell, contrabassist Pascal Niggenkemper, and drummer Ches Smith. Keyboarder Jozef Dumoulin from Paris teamed up with renowned saxophonist Ellery Eskelin and much sought after drummer Dan Weiss. Both collaborations are part of the joint program of French American Cultural Exchange (FACE) and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. The projects are broadly funded by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, various foundations (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Florence Gould Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs de Musique ("SACEM"), Institut Français, and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication.

Deep vocalism

Darius Jones is a musician who approaches music mainly and strongly from the human voice in all its modalities, from its physical as well as from its psychological and social characteristics. For him the voice is at the center of our existence. This is also embodied in the way he uses and plays his instrument, the alto saxophone. Some may have some associations with the voice of Arthur Blythe and Canonball Adderly; an understandable link as long as it is no classification but drawn from the unique quality of every voice. Darius Jones is a member of the group of master drummer Nasheet Waits and the ground breaking group of Eric Revis, with Bill McHenry on tenor saxophone and Chad Taylor on drums. Jones recently released his pure vocal work The Oversoul Manual performed by The Elizabeth-Caroline Unit on American label AUMfidelity that also offers his other albums with amongst others pianist Matthew Shipp.

Émilie Lesbros is a person too curious, too energetic and too vocal-bound to restrict herself to a single genre, format, and language of vocal expression. She worked as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist in various contexts, primarily to find her own dynamic vocal presence and expression. She engaged in eclectic musical projects ranging from rock to electronic music, led by an insatiable curiosity of the modalities and sounds of the voice. Her encounter and work with a great master of improvisation, bassist Barre Phillips, was of crucial importance for her to explore and expand her expression and presence in collaboration with other improvising musicians on stage. She is a member of Pascal Niggenkemper's group Vision 7 that released Lucky Prime on the Clean Feed label this year. She started to work with Darius Jones when she settled in New York recently. A collaboration of Darius Jones and Émilie Lesbros is quite obvious and a promising match.

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