138

J

By

Sign in to view read count
Joëlle Léandre started off her musical life as a great classical bassist, an award winning student at the Conservatoire National de Musique in Paris. In '76 she was awarded a scholarship to work at the University of Buffalo where she came into contact with contemporary music composer Morton Feldman and subsequently began performing the works of Cage and Scelsi.

Throughout this time she was also improvising, and as that improvisation was not really coming from jazz, you might wonder what interest her music holds to a jazz gazette. Well, Léandre is quite simply one of the most original and exciting improvisers around today, as well as one hell of a bassist. Bassists from any genre should check out her full tone, great intonation, extended techniques, and flawless arco work. The double bass, after all, is one of the most important instruments in jazz, and free improvisation has given the jazz world an important dose of vitamins.

Joëlle Léandre/India Cooke
Firedance
Red Toucan
2005

Both of these records are excellent, though in some ways Firedance (Léandre's duo with violinist India Cooke) is a better match than One More Time (her duo with Steve Lacy). The highly recommended Firedance not only uses the string instruments as a meeting point, but both players seem to have a dramatic, narrative approach to music. Though not necessarily a common name, Cooke's track record is stellar, including performances with Joe Williams, Louie Bellson, Sun Ra, and Cecil Taylor. Her duets with Léandre are unique, sensitive, outrageous, thoughtful, gregarious; in short, deep, engaging stuff. "Firedance 3 is an amazing bass solo and "Firedance 5 showcases Cooke in a powerful and engrossing violin solo.

Steve Lacy/Joëlle Léandre
One More Time
Leo
2005

One More Time is absorbing in a different kind of way. Lacy and Léandre tend to stick to their ideas even if at first glance they are not "on the same page, for instance with Lacy's melodic jazz lines against Léandre's more textural concepts. Still the session is a great lesson in improvising and an important addition to each artist's discographies with wonderful improvised moments abound. If for no other reason, together these two releases reveal that by all means you won't want to miss the opportunity to hear Joëlle Léandre play solo!

Firedance

Tracks: Firedance 1; Firedance 2; Firedance 3; Firedance 4; Firedance 5; Firedance 6; Firedance 7

Personnel: India Cooke: (violin); Joëlle Léandre: (bass)

One More Time
Tracks: One More Time 1; One More Time 2; One More Time 3; Phone Message
Personnel: Steve Lacy: (soprano saxophone); Joëlle Léandre: (bass)


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017
Read Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And Rutherford Multiple Reviews Emanem Releases New Music From Late, Great Heroes Lacy And...
by John Eyles
Published: September 8, 2017
Read Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things Happen Slowly & Open Book Multiple Reviews Of Stories, Songs, and Self: Fred Hersch's Good Things...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues" Multiple Reviews Real World Records' Vinyl Reissues
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready" Multiple Reviews Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio" Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas" Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights" Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition" Multiple Reviews NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 6, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.