Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Joelle Leandre / Nicole Mitchell: Sisters Where

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Joelle Leandre / Nicole Mitchell: Sisters Where 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 a healthy dose of lyricism in their discourse, alongside more extended techniques. But it is their sense of improvisatory fun which undercuts what might occasionally pass as a demure classical recital.

Both are consummate performers, and it's a given that anything they are involved in will achieve high standards. Renowned for her unique synthesis of flute and voice, which she blends so they are near impossible to disentangle, Mitchell almost transcends her instrument. For her part Léandre mixes drive and ceaseless variation with a deep resonance, while her vocals add a further layer of possibility, without ever veering into overbearing theatricality. In tandem they create a winning combination, whether through unity in converging phrases, or separation via freewheeling counterpoint, like a pas de deux in contemporary dance.

The 42-minute program comprises six joint inventions captured live in Paris in early 2013. On "Sisters on Venus" passages of delicately intertwining flute multiphonics and arco overtones confirm the twosome's appeal. Other highlights include the dashing bowing matched by spiralling outpouring of flute melody, like a lark ascending on "Sisters on Uranus," while for "Sisters on Mercury" Mitchell alternates between flute and squeaky voice, with trills and plosives, which prompts Léandre to switch to a staccato attack. On the same cut, the American astounds by drawing two simultaneous tones from her flute.

Later during the atmospheric "Sisters on Saturn," they craft a soaring edifice from a drone punctuated by short energetic flurries, eliciting deservedly enthusiastic applause from the audience at the close. It presages a brief encore—"Sisters on Earth"—in which singing lines deconstruct into croaks and whispers before eventual silence. The only downside to a compelling set comes in a somewhat cavernous sound which results in a loss of clarity and detail, particularly on the flute.


Track Listing: Sisters on Venus; Sisters on Uranus; Sisters on Mercury; Sisters on Mars; Sisters on Saturn; Sisters on Earth.

Personnel: Joëlle Léandre: double bass, voice; Nicole Mitchell: flute, alto flute, voice.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Rogue Art


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
by James Nadal
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 22, 2017
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "Known-Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 22, 2017
Read "Beekman Vol. 02" CD/LP/Track Review Beekman Vol. 02
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "Sir Nebula" CD/LP/Track Review Sir Nebula
by Doug Collette
Published: September 18, 2016
Read "Soldani Dieci Anni" CD/LP/Track Review Soldani Dieci Anni
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!