All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Multiple Reviews

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

Two on Umlaut Records with bassist Sébastien Beliah

John Eyles By

Sign in to view read count
The Paris-based double-bassist and composer Sebastien Beliah has quite a history, being in smaller ensembles such as Wark (alongside alto saxophonist Marc Baron, tenor saxophonist Antoine Daures and percussionist Guillaume Dommartin), R.Mutt (with alto saxophonist Pierre-Antoine Badaroux and percussionist Antonin Gerbal) and Un Poco Loco (with tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Geoffroy Grombone and trombonist Fidel Fourneyron), and also in much larger bands like ONCEIM, Umlaut Big Band—see him in the YouTube clip below—and Ensemble Hodos, which he directs. Two 2018 releases on Umlaut Records—which has previously released albums by all of the above except Wark and ONCEIM—spotlight two facets of the bassist not previously featured on disc...

Musæum Clausum
Musæum Clausum
Umlaut Records
2018

Remarkably, Musæum Clausum is another fine Beliah trio. He is joined by two players he is familiar with, French cornetist Louis Laurain (who is also in Umlaut Big Band and ONCEIM) and German drummer Hannes Lingens (also in Ensemble Hodos). Available on CD or twelve-inch LP, the album was recorded in two days in September 2016, in a former East German ballroom, in Halle.

It consists of three extended tracks totalling fifty-four minutes. The trio's music is freely improvised and flows smoothly without any hesitations or pauses. Understandably, the three players sound familiar with each other and at ease together, giving their music a relaxed and relaxing feel throughout.

Given the instrumentation, it is no surprise that Laurain's cornet is out front for the majority of the time; he soloes without any apparent pause for thought, producing fluid phrases one after another, again and again. However, the trio is most definitely not lead soloist plus rhythm section; Beliah and Lingens do a fine job of supportive time-keeping alongside Laurain but they do far more besides, adding detail and coloration that keeps each track engaging from first note to last. The three deserve equal credit for the disc's success; it is a collective triumph and we must hope to hear more from this threesome soon.

Sébastien Beliah
Nocturnes
Umlaut Records
2018

In addition to all his group activities, Beliah is involved in education, teaching double bass, jazz and improvisation at the Conservatoire de Reims. His compositions have been played by a range of musicians, and he performs solo bass pieces by other composers as well as giving solo improvised bass performances. So, it is surprising that Nocturnes is his first album as a solo bassist.

Instead of displaying all the tricks in his box, as other bassists have been known to do on a solo album, Beliah's album consists of two tracks entitled "Nocturne no. 1" and "Nocturne no. 2," totalling just under forty-two minutes. That is a self-effacing gesture as it means that rather than the bassist himself being the focus of the album, the instrument itself is placed in the spotlight, with Beliah demonstrating what it can do.

Both tracks are played arco rather than pizzicato, so the music consists of a series of extended notes that combine together into an ever-shifting drone. Changes of volume, pitch and timbre bring variety to the music so that it remains engaging throughout. In titling these pieces as nocturnes, Beliah is indicating that this is late-night music. However, rather than being sleep-inducing, the music is better suited to those who enjoy a period of quiet reflection or meditation before retiring to bed. Sweet dreams.

Tracks and Personnel

Musæum Clausum

Tracks: A La Ventura Parts 1 & 2; Rareties In Pictures: A Large Submarine Landscape/A Night Piece; Remarquable Books.

Personnel: Louis Laurain: cornet; Hannes Lingen: drums; Sébastien Beliah: double bass.

Nocturnes

Tracks: Nocturne no. 1; Nocturne no. 2.

Personnel: Sébastien Beliah: double bass.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Piano Trios: 3x3 Multiple Reviews
Piano Trios: 3x3
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Iluso Records: DIY from two dreamers Multiple Reviews
Iluso Records: DIY from two dreamers
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 17, 2018
Read Iglooghost Takes Brave Step Forward With Electronic EPs Multiple Reviews
Iglooghost Takes Brave Step Forward With Electronic EPs
by John Bricker
Published: September 17, 2018
Read Nouveau Fusion: Superette And Visitors Multiple Reviews
Nouveau Fusion: Superette And Visitors
by Doug Collette
Published: September 8, 2018
Read Two on Umlaut Records with bassist Sébastien Beliah Multiple Reviews
Two on Umlaut Records with bassist Sébastien Beliah
by John Eyles
Published: August 28, 2018
Read Forward Into The Past Multiple Reviews
Forward Into The Past
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 19, 2018
Read "Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed" Multiple Reviews Jazz from the US Virgin Islands' new breed
by Nigel Campbell
Published: November 4, 2017
Read "Two Sides of Marc Copland: Quartet and Solo" Multiple Reviews Two Sides of Marc Copland: Quartet and Solo
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile" Multiple Reviews Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile
by Doug Collette
Published: December 17, 2017
Read "Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade
by John Eyles
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Joe Rosenberg's Ensembles" Multiple Reviews Joe Rosenberg's Ensembles
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 2, 2017
Read "New and Notable Releases" Multiple Reviews New and Notable Releases
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 4, 2017