Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

96

Sophie Alour: Opus 3

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
French saxophonist Sophie Alour's Opus 3 is not only her third album as a leader, it is also her first in a trio setting. The recipient of the French Django D'or award, Alour departs from the electric intensity of her previous release, Uncaged (Nocturne, 2007), to explore her voice as an instrumentalist. The 11 originals are tone poems bearing heavy western classical influences, with occasional peppering of other styles that showcase the leader on both tenor and soprano saxophones.

"Eloge du lointain" for example, has hints of Caribbean rhythms, with Alour's rapid-fire, staccato tenor enhancing the island ambience created by Karl Januska's rhythmic drums. Much like Sonny Rollins ' classic "St Thomas," she extends her improvisation far beyond the tune, although her sound is not as brassy as the legendary saxophonist, but rounder and more fluid.

There is not much distinction made on these tracks between the composed and the improvised. Alour's solos build on a basic foundation, but the final result is a musical construct that is quite imaginative and far-reaching. Her angular soprano on "Mystère et boule de gomme!" climbs logically up the scales and chords driven by Januska's propulsive drumming and anchored by Yoni Zelnik's resonant bass.

Alour's warm tenor blows softly over Zelnik's undulating notes on "Grekerna," its melancholic melody bearing hints of Eastern European music, while Zelnik's atonal pizzicato carries a conversation with Alour's unpredictable yet never out of place musical ideas on "Ode à Arthur Cravan." The stylistic angularity continues on "Haunted," featuring a lengthy tenor solo that is quite mellifluous with Januska's hyper-rhythmic drums bringing a rock sensibility to the piece.

Alour's fast lines add bop flavor to "Karlston," while the delightful cacophony that ends the march-like "Caprice" reflects Alour's more avant-garde side. The classical influences are most heard on the serpentine romantic song "En ton absence" and atmospheric and explorative sonata, "Petite anatomie du temps qui passe..."

Opus 3 is a more personal and more mature recording than Alour's previous two; although it lacks the energy and the excitement of her Uncaged, it is an intimate portrait of an artist with great promise.

Track Listing: Grekerna; Mystere et boule de gomme; Eloge du lointain; Ode a Arthur Cravan; Haunted; En ton absence; Why people always laugh about serious things; Pensee vagabonde; Caprice; Karlston; Petite anatomie du temps qui passe...

Personnel: Sophie Alour: tenor and soprano saxophones; Karl Jannuska: drums; Yoni Zelnik: bass.

Title: Opus 3 | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Plus Loin Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Common Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Common Ground
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Jambú" CD/LP/Track Review Jambú
by Joe Gatto
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "The Twilight Fall" CD/LP/Track Review The Twilight Fall
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "If You Have a Dream" CD/LP/Track Review If You Have a Dream
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Cluster Swerve" CD/LP/Track Review Cluster Swerve
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 6, 2017

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!