Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio: Sources

Ian Patterson By

Sign in to view read count
Multi-reedist, composer and improviser Louis Sclavis' ninth release for ECM sees this eternally restless seeker of new sounds and textures heading once more into personally unchartered territory; this is the first time Sclavis has led a trio of clarinet, guitar and piano. In guitarist Gilles Coronado and pianist Benjamin Mouassy, Sclavis has recruited open-minded musicians with the technique, discipline and imagination necessary to give life to his sketches of musical ideas, where formal structure and free rein co-exist in such close symbiosis that the two are not always easily distinguishable. Contemporary classical ruminations, pulsing funk, subtle European and North African folk airs, improvisation, and searching impressionism flow in fascinating juxtaposition.

Eschewing drums and bass, Sources isn't as sonically dense as the quintet outing Lost On The Way (ECM, 2009), nor as jazz-centric or urbane as the subtly sample/electronics-intoned L'Imparfait des Langues (ECM, 2007). Nevertheless, as its name suggests, Atlas Trio covers surprisingly diverse terrain, and, despite the lack of a rhythm team, is rhythmically engaging to boot. The trio raises a head of steam on the gritty funk workout "A Road to Karaganda"; Sclavis' clarinet infuses a yearning, quasi-Anatolian melodicism in a memorable tune which seems far shorter than its actual nearly nine minutes duration. On the dramatic guitar-driven "Pres d'Hagondange," darting, repeated unison lines of piano and clarinet explore a similar vein to that of pianist Nik Bärtsch's Ronin.

There's urgency in "La Disparition," with Moussay's Rhodes providing a bass pulse, and Coronado, inventive rhythmic drive, while Sclavis constructs an arresting, unpredictable improvisation. The stripped down "Dresseur de nuages" is a moody, yet quietly powerful dialog between bass clarinet and piano, with a vaguely exotic hint of the Maghreb inhabiting the haunting melody. The title track is a sonic sketch whose brooding minimalism seems to chart a course drawing inspiration from Olivier Messiaen via electric-period Miles Davis. "Migration" is a contemporary classical composition where the clarinet and guitar's tightly woven unison lines are given relief by Moussay's dramatic counterpoint, which combines disciplined shadowing with freer embellishments. "Quai Sud" draws inspiration from a similar source, though blurs the lines a shade more between composed and improvised lines.

The impressionistic "Along the Niger" resonates with a host of familiar yet elusive melodic accents, where once again, mood and texture trump melodic development or virtuosity. Coronado's ghostly intro on this track has a distinctly Frisellian feel. The short trio composition "Outside of Maps" offers up an avant-garde, impressionist soundtrack devoid of rhythm. Coronado's "Sous Influence" begins with a clarinet soliloquy, before plying a smoldering funk-rock groove. Its brooding intensity born of collective discipline closes the CD on a high note.

Even on a label like ECM where individualism is championed, there are few artists who create new sounds recording after recording. Sclavis, however, is one such artist and Sources whets the appetite for further adventures from this fascinating trio.

Track Listing: Près d'Hagondange; Dresseur de nuages; La Disparition; A Road to Karaganda; Sources; Migration; Quai Sud; Along the Niger; Outside of Maps; Sous Influences.

Personnel: Louis Sclavis: clarinets; Benjamin Moussay: piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboard; Gilles Coronado: electric guitar.

Title: Sources | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Read more articles
Asian Fields Variations

Asian Fields...

ECM Records
2017

buy
Sources

Sources

ECM Records
2012

buy
 

Eldorado Trio

Label Bleu
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019