34

Marc Ducret: Helsinki, Finland, January 29, 2012

Marc Ducret: Helsinki, Finland, January 29, 2012
Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count
Marc Ducret Solo
Malmintalo
Helsinki, Finland
Jaunary 29, 2012

A solo performance is by definition an intense experience, and when the musician is committed to a style which is itself close to impenetrable the result can be bewildering; in this case a performance is bound only by the resourcefulness of the audience.

Those attending this penultimate concert of French guitarist Marc Ducret's Finnish tour almost certainly knew what to expect. With the assistance of the French Institute, Ducret had toured three times before, playing Finland's largest musical event (Pori Jazz Festival) with his trio in 2010. But he had never before appeared on stage alone and never suggested that he could or would play acoustically. Ducret's career included a time in the late 1970s when he was recognized for his classical repertoire, but with over 20 years performing his own compositions he is now defined as a guitarist with a harsh but singularly un-manipulated electric timbre and a technique that is both robust and rampaging while being clean and often delicate.

Playing in Big Satan with saxophonist Tim Berne and drummer Tom Rainey, Ducret has earned a reputation for intensity and virtuosity. In solo performance this was very obvious, but the context of the music was less apparent. Ducret credits the twentieth century author Vladimir Nabokov with the spark for the work played in Malmintalo—a paragraph written in a late novel, Ada, which impressed him with the multidimensionality of the communicated messages. In fact it provided the inspiration for an extended opus named Tower, which Ducret has written around various ensembles with whom he currently plays, including Berne's trio. At least two of the pieces were from this series, "Real Thing, part 1" and "Real Thing, part 3."

At the end of one solo piece, Ducret admitted mixing together one of these pieces with another composition, "Electricity." This apparent mix-up had surely gone unnoticed by the audience, whose deepest concentration could hardly distinguish the lines of structure or similarity with much clarity. But while this deviation didn't detract from the experience, it revealed that a musician of supreme virtuosity and dexterity can be appreciated on whatever level the audience chooses. An 11 year-old neighbor certainly had similar difficulty in maintaining the depth of focus for the full 65 minutes, but was frequently and similarly dazzled by Ducret's musicianship, excited by his extraordinary range of sound, baffled by his composition and intrigued by his intent.

Photo Credit

Maarit Kytöharju

Shop

More Articles

Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read Kronos Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Kronos Festival 2017" Live Reviews Kronos Festival 2017
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "The Power Quintet at Jazz Standard" Live Reviews The Power Quintet at Jazz Standard
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Ralph Peterson's Triangular III at Nighttown" Live Reviews Ralph Peterson's Triangular III at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 18, 2016
Read "Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: June 16, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!