A trio improv session more or less in the lineage of the European free jazz stylings of the last few decades (often shorthanded as "efi") but informed as well by the post-AMM practices of the last 15. This can make for an uneasy mix no matter how accomplished the musicians. The listener versed in both styles may impatiently ask, "One or the other!" Yet by attempting to walk this troublesome path, it's possible to stumble across areas that seem fresh for precisely that oil and water reason. It doesn't happen consistently here but does peek in from the underbrush.
Duplant is more often heard as a bassist and is accomplished in both electro-acoustic improvisation and the quiet score-generated music akin to the Wandelweiser folk. Here, he deploys toy drums and percussion, accompanied by Wadham (inside and outside piano) and Lenglet (acoustic guitar with objects). One has the impression he's the reining-in force when matters threaten to get, in Radu Malfatti's immortal phrase, "too gabby". When, by virtue of his actions or otherwise, things gel and no one feels compelled to fill every existent space, the music becomes quite attractive, as occurs through much of the second track. It's full but there's an interesting structure created by the iterated piano string strummings, guitar scrapes and block taps that sends the piece hurtling along. Whether or not the music box playing "Somewhere, My Love" adds or subtracts to the proceedings is up to the listener to decide. For these ears...not good.
The third cut, "le tigre aussi a besoin de sommeil", suffers from meandering gabbiness in spades, a chattering flux with all three occupying a similar timbral area of their instruments, overly insistent, falling back on far too many free improv clichés. Derek Bailey would have winced. The final track is better, Wadham taking the lead, channeling Paul Bley somewhat, Duplant and Lenglet assuming quasi-traditional roles as colorists/accompanists. It works quite well on its own merits, though I can't help but wish the trio would push things more; that is, not push things so much.
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