Baroque Jazz Trio —
Baroque Jazz Trio ... LP Saravah/SouffleContinu (France), 1970. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)...
Beautiful stuff – and one of the most stunning jazz albums ever recorded – a blinding mix of harpsichord, cello, and Indian percussion – with a sound that's unlike anything else we can think of! The album was the brainchild of the cross-culturally fertile Saravah records at the end of the 60s – home to experimental work by Brigitte Fontaine, Barney Wilen, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, and others. From the start, the group wanted to work in a boundary-less territory that really pushed the limits of jazz – drawing in inspiration from world music, and working in a style they called "baroque", to emphasize the bizarreness of their project. Given the heavy use of tabla on the set, the album's got a really driving rhythmic component – making for some funky numbers that have been sought-after jazz-dance tracks for years. And the role of the harpsichord is surprisingly strong – played in almost modal lines, but with a hesitating, lilting groove that's quite different to similar use of the piano at the time. Titles include "Delhi Daily", "Chandigardh", "Latin Baroque", "Zoma", and "Cesar Go Back Home". LP, Vinyl record album
Anne Marie Coffinet —
Le Vampire ... 7-inch Futura/SouffleContinu (France), 1970. Near Mint- (pic cover)...
New industrial modes from Philippe Doray and his group of French experimentalists – not sounds that fall into the industrial dance world of the late 80s, but those very early, groundbreaking creations from Throbbing Gristle and the rest of their generation! This album's maybe slightly more song-based than Doray's previous album with his group, but there's still a pretty freewheeling, all-exploded quality going on here – that same way that TG and some of their British contemporaries took all the longer experiments of Krautrock and other sonic pioneers from the early 70s, and compressed them down to shorter, noisier moments – yet which somehow often have a songform too. Titles include "Pge De Magazin", "Le Petit Herisson Jaune", "Pas De Sevice Apres Vente", "Dans Le Dadale", "Clair Et Net", and "Contrechant Magnetique". LP, Vinyl record album
Groundbreaking work from the Paris scene of the 70s – a record that's kind of post-prog, post-improvisation, and which maybe sets the scene for sonic experiments on the UK scene in years to come! Philippe Doray is at the helm of his antisocial associates here – a quintet that mixes elements of rock, jazz, and avant classical styles, which are then altered with a sensibility borrowed from more serious worlds of musique concrete and electro-acoustic experimentation – but handled with a spirit that's very down to earth and freewheeling! There's elements here to appeal to fans of all the many styles involved – and forward to ears tuned towards the noisier experiments of Nurse With Wound, The Hafler Trio, and others – a really amazing record, with titles that include "Nucleaire", "Ramasse", "Secoue Le Flipeur", "Miettes", "Fin De Semain Dans Un Parc D'Attraction", and "La Capitale De L'Ennemi". LP, Vinyl record album
A fantastic collaboration between two key members of the French avant jazz scene – working here in a spirit that really lives up to the genre-busting legacy of the Saravah Records label! Philippe Mate improvises here on saxophone – but in a unique space that's controlled by Daniel Vallancien – not really a musician himself, but a key force in recording the classic BYG/Actuel avant jazz sessions a few years before – working here in the studio to inflect the performance of Mate with all sorts of effects and studio techniques! The approach isn't nearly as gimmicky as you might expect – and instead, the whole thing is maybe a free jazz nod to some of the more stodgy, academic electro-acoustic sounds from Paris – given a very earthy, organic quality here by the duo. Titles include "Cambodge 70", "Sanza Sallee", "Cyclothime", "Osakaphone", "Campus", and "Sax Hi Fi". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited edition of 500!)
Mestari ... LP Le Chant Du Monde/SouffleContinu (France), 1973. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)...
A really amazing album from a French free jazz group who are really finding their way forward – issued in 1973, but already very different from most of the initial post-1968 recordings on the Parisian scene! The album features a concert recording, with three very long-spun tracks by the quartet – amazing improvisatory energy flowing between the bass if Didier Levallet, the drums of Jean My Truong, the electric piano and clavinet of Siegfried Kessler, and the mix of piccolo, bass clarinet, tenor, and sopranino sax of Jeff Seffer – who also blows this very cool "malabar" reed instrument of his own creation! Both Kessler and Seffer are completely off the hook – and it's great to hear electric keys used in this way on a free jazz recording – bold and very sinister. Titles include "Mestari", "Trabla Air", and "Chott Djerid". LP, Vinyl record album
The amazing first album from Perception – a French avant-jazz group that you might recognize from other performances from some of its members – a quartet lineup that includes Siefried Kessler on acoustic and electric piano, Didier Levallet on bass, Jean My Truong on drums, and Jeff Seffer on soprano, tenor, and bass clarinet! The style here is a bold step forward from the French free modes of the BYG/Actual recordings in 1969 – still very open, expressive, and improvised – but maybe given a bit more structure at times through the chunky use of the bass and drums, which is then echoed by Kessler on the keys, especially when he's electric – although at other moments the pianist can spin out with strong lines that rival the freedoms of Cecil Taylor! Seffer is amazing too – a player that we wish we knew more of, as his work on the record is tremendous, especially on tenor – really giving full depth to tunes that include "Debora", "Enitram", "Narcisse", "Chirato", and "Phenobarbital". LP, Vinyl record album
The rare second album from French free jazz combo Perception – a quartet who are already feeling such strengths that they decided to add a few other musicians to their lineup! As before, the performance by the core quartet is amazing – really strong, solid work on keyboards and piano from Siegfried Kessler – an artist who uses the electric instrumentation in a way that ties some slight fusion colors to the proceedings, even though the music is clearly improvised jazz through and through. And reedman Jeff Seffer is fantastic too – using bass clarinet, soprano, and tenor with such bold direction that the guest horns seem to be working very hard to keep up. Bassist Didier Levallet is a rock-solid part of the group – and also most likely the guiding force behind their creative vision – and Jean My Truong handles the drums with a boldly creative frenzy. Titles include "Colima", "Le Horla", "The Outsider", "Mamelai", and "Adeqxi/Ville D'Avril". LP, Vinyl record album
Michel Roques —
Chorus ... LP Saravah/SouffleContinu (France), 1972. New Copy Gatefold (reissue)...
An amazing album from the legendary Saravah label – one of the imprint's lesser-known gems from the 70s, but a set that's got the same compelling mix of modes you'd find in their albums from Barney Wilen, Brigitte Fontaine, Pierre Barouh, or the Art Ensemble Of Chicago! Reedman Michel Roques works here on both tenor and flute, in a group that's very heavy on percussion – which gives the whole thing a strong post-colonial vibe, as rootsy elements meet a hip Parisian approach – one that's underscored by Roques' French language introductions to most tracks, which set things up in a beautiful way before the instrumentation takes off. The work features both strong work from bassist P Carantini, and some warmer cello lines from JC Capon – and titles include "Le Jazz", "Le Cri", "Monsieur Chimpanze", and "Le Temps". LP, Vinyl record album
A solo set from French jazz musician Jacques Thollot – but one with a wide range of sounds and styles, as he's overdubbed on piano, percussion, drums, organ, and countless electronic effects! These effects are what really make the album great – as it feels like outtakes from some obscure early 70s Gil Melle soundtrack, although with slight touches of avant jazz thrown in to give it an even edgier quality – a really cool mix of electric and acoustic elements that keeps things on edge throughout. Most tracks are short, and have a really sonic sensibility – and titles include "Quiet Days In Prison", "Marche", "A Suivre", "Aussi Large Que Long", "De DC Par JT", and "Mahagony Extraits". LP, Vinyl record album
Beautiful stuff – and one of the most stunning jazz albums ever recorded – a blinding mix of harpsichord, cello, and Indian percussion – with a sound that's unlike anything else we can think of! The album was the brainchild of the cross-culturally fertile Saravah records at the end of the 60s – home to experimental work by Brigitte Fontaine, Barney Wilen, The Art Ensemble Of Chicago, and others. From the start, the group wanted to work in a boundary-less territory that really pushed the limits of jazz – drawing in inspiration from world music, and working in a style they called "baroque", to emphasize the bizarreness of their project. Given the heavy use of tabla on the set, the album's got a really driving rhythmic component – making for some funky numbers that have been sought-after jazz-dance tracks for years. And the role of the harpsichord is surprisingly strong – played in almost modal lines, but with a hesitating, lilting groove that's quite different to similar use of the piano at the time. Titles include "Delhi Daily", "Chandigardh", "Latin Baroque", "Zoma", and "Cesar Go Back Home". CD also features 2 bonus tracks – "Largo" and "Orientasie". CD
Unreleased live work from this fantastic French group of the 70s – a free jazz quartet, but one with a key difference – and that difference is the Fender Rhodes of Siegfried Kessler! Kessler's a monster on both electric and acoustic piano – which he uses on the set as well – and both instruments are played with a fierce frenzy that really shapes the action – bold, blocky, and very chunky – while reedman Jeff Seffer wails away on bass clarinet, soprano, sopranino, and tenor saxes! Rhythm is nice and bold too – Didier Levallet on acoustic bass, but recorded with this raspy, dark-toned style – and the great Jacques Thollot on drums. Titles include "Ville D'Avril", "Chott Djerid/Hymnus", Adexqi", "Stadium Exchanges", and "Un Coq D'Amailloux". CD