Jazz Articles | Blog

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joëlle Léandre: A Woman's Work...

Read "A Woman's Work..." reviewed by

How do you sum up the career of an improvising artist like Joëlle Léandre? Do you reissue a package of recordings from her 40 years of performance? That is probably not possible, given the multiple labels and the location and ownership of the masters. Besides, free improvisation, almost by definition, dissipates (or probably should dissipate) upon performance. Recordings contain only a fraction of the whole experience. When it comes to Léandre's oeuvre, total immersion in her music is the only ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Hrayr Attarian's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Hrayr Attarian's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by

Many other writers have submitted superb Best of/End of year lists, so another similar one would be redundant. As women instrumentalists in jazz have been historically underrepresented to great degree and remain a minority even today, below is a list with a feminist bent. These 12 exquisite albums are either by women or prominently feature women. An example of the latter is cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum's Enter the Plustet that showcases, among other masterful improvisers, guitarist Mary Halvorson, cellist Tomeka ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joëlle Léandre - Urs Leimgruber - Fred Frith - Alvin Curran: Oakland/Lisboa

Read "Oakland/Lisboa" reviewed by

Under the moniker MMM Quartet a crew from diverse points of the compass assembled for a concert at the 2014 Jazz Em Agosto in Lisboa (Lisbon, Portugal). Three of the four principals have associations with Mills College in Oakland (the MMM acronym improbably stands for Mills Music Mafia), while the Swiss saxophonist Urs Leimgruber is the solitary interloper. With constituent parts like French bassist Joëlle Léandre, English guitarist Fred Frith and veteran American pianist, composer and electronics whizz Alvin Curran, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joëlle Léandre - Urs Leimgruber - Fred Frith - Alvin Curran: Oakland/Lisboa

Read "Oakland/Lisboa" reviewed by

This multinational dream team's second album was recorded live at a venue in Lisbon, Portugal. MMM stands for Mills Music Mafia, alluding to the respective artists' tenure or residency at Mills College in Oakland, CA. As anticipated, the quartet embarks upon a course of ingenuity that would be difficult to top within global improvisational circuits. Indeed, active minds are on the loose here. They navigate through jarring pathways and even integrate off-center folk into a few choruses; whereas, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leandre - Delbecq - Houle: 14 rue Paul Forte, Paris

Read "14 rue Paul Forte, Paris" reviewed by

Leo Records' press release correlates this trio's output to “heavy artillery" music, but it's most assuredly not all about bombast or in-your-face type avant-garde improvisation. Hence, these esteemed improvisers do what they do best in front of a select audience in Paris. Bassist Joelle Léandre and Benoit Delbecq hail from France and like Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle, are among the crème de la crème of global improvisational artisans, and as anticipated, they dutifully get the job done here. The agenda ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joëlle Léandre & Pascal Contet: 3

Read "3" reviewed by

Like a conversation between old comrades, not much needs to be said in order to make perfect sense. The implied, fleeting body moves, facial expressions can direct the course of the interaction and charge it with emotional depth, tension or colorful cinematic narratives. 3 the third recorded collaboration between French double bass master Joëlle Léandre and accordionist Pascal Contet--after a self-titled album (Concord, 1996) and Freeway (Clean Feed Records, 2007)--feature these two friends in top form. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joelle Leandre / Nicole Mitchell: Sisters Where

Read "Sisters Where" reviewed by

Sisters Where forms another installment in the fertile collaboration between French bassist Joëlle Léandre and American flutist Nicole Mitchell, following on from Before After (Rogue Art, 2011) and Flowing Stream (Leo Records, 2014). One enduring feature of the pairing is the attractive opposition of high and low ends represented by their respective axes, although of course Léandre can effortlessly traverse that divide with her virtuosic bow handling. What further helps make the session work so well is that each includes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daunik Lazro / Joëlle Léandre: Hasparren

Read "Hasparren" reviewed by

Whether one rates a free improv album or not can be notoriously subjective, depending as much on the listener's mood as any musical attribute. So when a recital comes along by two of France's most adventurous musicians where everything seems to just click, it's worth teasing out what makes it such a success. Let's be clear, it's not background music. To get the most from it requires some concentration. Perhaps headphones. That way the near perfect interaction between Daunik Lazro's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daunik Lazro / Joëlle Léandre: Hasparren

Read "Hasparren" reviewed by

French baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro and double bass master Joëlle Léandre began to collaborate almost thirty years ago. This collaboration has yielded one trio recording, Sweet Zee (Hathut, 1984 with trombonist George Lewis), two quartet recordings, Paris Quartet (IIntakt, 1989, with pianist Irène Schweizer, and trombonist Yves Robert, and Madly you (Potlatch, 2002, with violinist Carlos Zingaro and percussionist Paul Lovens), and one filmed duo in the Léandre documentary Basse continue (Hors oeil éditions, 2008) as well as many other ...


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!