Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

502

Chris Speed / Chris Cheek / Stephane Furic Leibovici: Jugendstil

Raul d'Gama Rose By

Sign in to view read count
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 Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana" CD/LP/Track Review Super Hi Fi Plays Nirvana
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read "Live at the High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Easy Living" CD/LP/Track Review Easy Living
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 10, 2017
Read "Common Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Common Ground
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Qitara" CD/LP/Track Review Qitara
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 2, 2017