Review by Nick Potter on Forest Gospel (December 7, 2012)

I kind of fell head over heals for avant jazz this year. I’ve been tip toeing around it for a couple years now and this year, the year of Mayan enlightenment/apocalypse, I’ve found myself finally falling into the genre without reserve. If you follow the blog, maybe you’ve noticed (and, like Erin, are disappointed). By and large I am drawn to the bombasticly chaotic and swinging (best when hand in hand), which is what makes En Corps, a spare, non-swinging evisceration of jazz, such a surprisingly delicious and eye-opening discovery for me. The album seems to burrow deeply into the tension of the almost-explosion: the space of the music world that precedes and bubbles towards a crescendo–yet here, Risser (piano), Duboc (bass), and Perraud (drums) dig their heels in and ride that tension of the almost-chaos (which is a chaos all its own) into a space that is both maddening and enlightening. Consisting of two tracks, the first of which expands beyond a half an hour (the second, fifteen minutes), there is something to be said about the endurance of the musicians and the listeners who brave En Corps, but its a listening experience that rewards like nearly no other in 2012 that I can think of. Something of a holy grail for adventurous listeners, I don’t care what your stripe.









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