502

Chris Speed / Chris Cheek / Stephane Furic Leibovici: Jugendstil

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Speed / Chris Cheek / Stephane Furic Leibovici: Jugendstil Everything about this extraordinary album, Jugendstil, is deliberate and attains its own level of perfection. To begin with, there is its name: The word Jugendstil (German for "youth style," akin to the French "art nouveau" movement of the late nineteenth century) is so apt, considering that it defines the music contained in this record. For instance just as that art movement was typified by highly stylized and curvilinear forms, so also is the music on this record. Here, the aural replaces the visual form of the art it seeks to represent and the compositions are typified by their stylized phrases that sweep through the senses with notes that create swathes of sound. Sometimes the music in linear and propulsive and at other times it is circular—even like a helix.

Bassist, Stephane Furic Leibovici, composes all of the music for this date. It is defined by the descriptive grammar of the earth—deliberate and flowing organically and continuously until its imperative dénouement—each time the song is sung by the instruments employed to play it. The "Carter Variations" are a completely fresh take on the musical ideas of Elliot Carter, the classical composer who laid out his own music with a high degree of understanding of dissonant sound and rhythmic complexity. It unfolds as the relationship between sound and silence develops—with dynamic tension—throughout the composition.

"Therego" is next; another sophisticated track that ripples and rushes as the musicians pace its development in the sonic landscape. By the time "The Music of Tranquility" begins to unfold, it becomes clear that the genius of this record is to bring together—certainly in this track—instruments that are at opposite ends of the tonal spectrum and that breathe with texture of disparate texture of reeds and woodwinds. Chris Speed's clarinet jousts good-naturedly with Chris Cheek's soprano and tenor saxophones. Furic plucks delicately, creating accents that punctuate the contrapuntal sonic blanket ascribed to the idea of tranquility.

Other compositions, especially "Daffodils," describe one or more scenes from a pastoral setting. Where contrasts come to light as a new sound, emerging as the music is propelled ever onward. "Les nuits de la Chapoulie" is another feature with magnificent interaction between reeds and woodwinds—a tantalizing skipping sense of improvisation and suggested soloing—a contradiction of sorts. It is as if, as Furic states, "This is a night ride, walking the earth...how light and fresh is the morning air."

A better trio could not have interpreted the music. There seems to be a symbiotic relationship between the players. Their performances here are beyond the interplay that describes great trios. Rather it is as if the challenging compositions have been given a life all their own by the brilliant interpretations of the improvisers who play them.

Visit Chris Speed and Chris Cheek on the web.


Track Listing: Carter Variation - I; Carter Variation - II; Carter Variation - III; Carter Variation - IV; Carter Variation - V; Therego; A Music of Tranquility; Daffodils; Three Kinds of Folks; Feuillage des Gestes; Les nuits de la Chapoulie.

Personnel: Chris Speed: clarinet; Chris Cheek: tenor and soprano saxophones; Stephane Furic Leibovici: double-bass.

Title: Jugendstil | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ESP Disk


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read The Bug CD/LP/Track Review The Bug
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Sing Me Some Cry CD/LP/Track Review Sing Me Some Cry
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Masters In Bordeaux CD/LP/Track Review Masters In Bordeaux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 19, 2017
Read On Parade In Parede CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Jojje Wadenius (70)" CD/LP/Track Review Jojje Wadenius (70)
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Living Water" CD/LP/Track Review Living Water
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 15, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Colour And Movement" CD/LP/Track Review Colour And Movement
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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