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Les Diaboliques (Schweizer, Nicols & Leandre): Live At The Rhinefalls

Glenn Astarita By

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For this new release titled Live At The Rhinefalls, pianist Irene Schweizer, vocalist Maggie Nicols, and bassist Joelle Leandre further illustrate the band’s often satirical assault on the free jazz/improvisational scene. Known as “Les Diaboliques” (the devilish ones) the trio pursues melodramatic histrionics under the umbrella of free improv. Ms. Nicols’ technically brilliant yet often humorous vocalise shines forth like a radiant evening star as she engages in captivating call and response outbursts with her exceptionally talented musical companions, utilizing witty narratives, scat singing, and infectious counter-currents on pieces such as “Mercurial Dream” and “Almost Straight Ahead”.

On “Tongue Talking”, Ms. Nicols mimics Mme. Leandre’s razor edged arco-bass lines yet also, injects a paradoxical caricature of her, at times, angelic choir-like attributes. Irene Schweizer once again instills percussive power into this diverse repertoire as the trio’s uncanny rhythmic articulations accelerate the sinuous passages, complete with mesmerizing three-way dialogue and abstract voicings. Essentially, the band embarks on a whimsical journey brimming with suspense, tension, and wit. The instrumentalists intuitive interplay, semi-austere classicism, and modern jazz dialogue allows this trio to offer more twists, turns, and diversions then one might be accustomed to in one sitting. The end results prove to be stimulating and rewarding. Needless to state, the audience in attendance seemed enthralled by the vibrant proceedings. Highly recommended.

* * * * ½ (out of * * * * *) ( Intakt Records )


Track Listing: 1) Mercurial Drama 2) Almost Straight Ahead 3) Rheingefallen 4) Tongue Talking 5) Diverse Moods

Personnel: Irene Schweizer; Piano: Maggie Nicols; Voice: Joelle Leandre; Bass

Title: Live At The Rhinefalls | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Intakt Records


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