Chronique par Dan Warburton sur Paris Transatlantic (Hiver 2011)
It’s a brave move, starting up a new label in these times of quantitative unease, but Dark Tree main man Bertrand Gastaut has really picked a cracker to inaugurate his imprint. As Wire readers will know by now (sorry I can’t always use my Wire reviews here, but you understand..) both baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro and bassist Benjamin Duboc have recently signed stellar releases on Ayler – the former’s Some Other Zongs and the latter’s Primare Cantus, both of which should already be in your Christmas stocking – and with percussionist Didier Lasserre they make a formidable trio. And that’s formidable in both English and French. All three musicians have serious free jazz chops (I wish someone out there would reissue Lazro’s awesome 1980 hat Hut solo / duo with Jean-Jacques Avenel, The Entrance Gates of Tshee Park), but it’s clear they’ve been doing some serious listening to post-AMM oughties improv: on « une lune vive », patient and meticulous exploration of sustained sonorities and gradual changes in timbre and dynamic have replaced the splatter, clatter and scatter of their earlier work. But there are still plenty of fireworks on « pourtant » – damn, Lazro’s nailed those upper register shrieks and squeaks – attentive pitch play on « les cimes des arbres » and one of Duboc’s wonderfully meaty Haden-y bass solos to start off « retiennent la pluie ». The album title, by the way, comes from a French translation of a haiku by Bashō, and I was toying with the idea of writing a 17-syllable review, but gave up and played the album yet again instead. Great stuff, check it out.



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