Jean-Luc Petit: Matière des Souffles

Eyal Hareuveni By

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French reed player Jean-Luc Petit mastered his art through extensive, mostly free improvised, solo work with actor and poet Daniel Crumb (including the staging of Charles Bukowski poems) and various duets with double bassist Benjamin Duboc, percussionist Didier Lasserre and sax players Daunik Lazro and Sylvain Guérineau among many other forward-thinking local improvisers.

Petit's five solo improvisations may be considered as reed abstractions of Duboc's masterful improvisations on double bass. The latter three pieces were recorded by Duboc in the same church building, Eglise Saint-Martin in Bignac, in western France where Duboc recorded St. James Infirmary (Improvised Beings, 2014). The first two songs were recorded in another western France church, Eglise Saint-Pierre de Sers, by percussionist Matthias Pontevial.

Petit uses ancient, acoustic spaces wisely. He plays baritone sax on "Abrasive Incursions" and "Vibratoires," focusing on simple, short lines that explore the whole range of the instrument from quiet breaths to deep-toned growls. These reserved, meditative sound fragments spiral and fill the room, accumulating into a mass of lyrical, resonating texture. "Vibratoires" intensifies the touching feel of slow and methodical immersion in deep, serene sounds.

The last three improvisations are played on the contrabass clarinet. They continue the restless exploration of deep, fragile sounds and kinetic aspects within space. "La Montagne Se Consume" goes even deeper, stressing the lower, resonating register until transforming it into a rich yet disturbing drone of vibrating sounds. The final song,"Autre Cime, Autre Gisement" emphasizes the spirit of free, fragile play with sounds, color and shades. All are executed with impressive, creative command and great sensitivity.

Track Listing: Abrasives Incursions; Vibratoires; Le Noir Et Le Goudron; La Montagne Se Consume; Autre Cime, Autre Gisement.

Personnel: Jean-Luc Petit: baritone saxophone (1,2), contrabass clarinet (3,4,5).

Title: Matière des Souffles | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Improvised Beings


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