The exceptional improvising duo of Daunik Lazro (saxophone) and Joelle Leandre (bass, voice) in a live recording from Hasparren of dark and beautiful free improvisation.
Lazro, Daunik / Joelle Leandre
Released in: Lithuania
"The pairing of an eternally inquiring sage and a bright-minded cultivated troublemaker, Lazro and Léandre have been knowing themselves for a long while but rarely their work was attested by a record (incidentally, we're eagerly waiting for a CD reissue of the unacknowledged Paris Quartet, issued by Intakt in 1989 and comprising Irène Schweizer and Yves Robert besides this review's protagonists).
This concert in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques dated December 2011 finds the duo in great shape and spirit - and clearly inclined to perceive the proposals of silence, one should add - since the very first minutes, both artists sniffing the air in search of melodic fragments and dynamical fervency that, once found, get combined inside flashes of neatly organized instant creation. They channel their respect for (relative) quietness at the beginning of the second chapter (all are named "Hasparren"), letting the gradual flow of the sax and the semi-intoxicated figuration depicted by the double bass integrate in a commanding, if still restrained statement. Sometimes they cogitate unaccompanied, exploring the intimate relationship of solo exposition with ratiocinative sentience, or fighting the requisite compliance to any hypothetical rule with disciplined fury, occasionally with a pinch of irony (gotta love that fake resignation expressed by Léandre in her "aaahs"), ultimately flowing into a vast sea of canorous intelligibility.
Heavyweights of the respective instruments who waste no time, whenever the occasion arises, to let a given acoustic constituent dominate the mix; the magic lies in the balance obtained, a music which may look deceptively fragile in some structural conjunction and almost overpowering in other combinations, but is totally unshakable in the most crucial acceptation. That is to say, the expression of internal needs and urges achieved through confident gestures of aural art, without a trace of grandiloquence for good measure."-Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes
• Show Bio for Daunik Lazro
"The French saxophonist Daunik Lazro combines a tart, piercing tone with a quick mind and a flexible philosophy of music-making. His professional start was in bassist Saheb Sarbib's orchestra, a relationship he maintained through most of the '70s, which included three recordings. His first steps playing his own music involved a radical resizing of the cast on-stage, going from orchestra playing to solo saxophone concerts and duets. In the '80s, he busily played with many on the European improvised music scene, including bassist Jean Jacques Avenel, cellist Tristan Honsinger, violinist Carlos Zingaro, drummer Christian Rollet, and saxophonist Evan Parker, among others. In the mid-'80s, Lazro expanded his partnerships to include dance and theater projects, including work with the Company of the Chance.
He formed a particularly fine trio in 1987 with fellow saxophonist Michel Doneda and the brilliant ppercussionistLê Quan Ninh, playing at many of the major European festivals and also touring in Canada. Duets with the American free improviser Joe McPhee are a 1991 discographical highlight, during a period when Lazro also began playing viola. In 1993, he started his own orchestra as well as a quartet called Outlaws in Jazz with Jac Berrocal, Didier Levallet, and Dennis Charles. In 1995, he toured Europe in a triple-threat combination with both McPhee and Parker, and the former artist also joined him in a quartet the following year with the superb British contrabassist Paul Rogers. In the late '90s, he continued involvement with a series of orchestra projects, often as a guest soloist."-All Music, Eugene Chadbourne (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/daunik-lazro-mn0000956932/biography)
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• Show Bio for Joelle Leandre
"Joëlle Léandre (born 12 September 1951 in Aix-en-Provence, France) is a double bassist, vocalist, and composer active in new music and free improvisation.
In the field of contemporary music, she has performed with Pierre Boulez's Ensemble InterContemporain, and worked with Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Both Cage and Giacinto Scelsi have composed works specifically for her.
She gave an historic solo concert in "Jazz em Agosto" in 2007 (Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal). In this same top jazz festival, Léandre performed also in the "Quartet Noir", a quartet with quite rare live performances, with Marilyn Crispell, Urs Leimgruber and Fritz Hauser.
She has also collaborated with some of the preeminent musicians in the fields of jazz and improvised music, including Derek Bailey, Barre Phillips, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, India Cooke, Evan Parker, Irène Schweizer, Steve Lacy, Maggie Nicols, Fred Frith, Carlos Zingaro, John Zorn, Susie Ibarra, J. D. Parran, Kevin Norton, Eric Watson, Ernst Reijseger, Akosh S. and Sylvie Courvoisier.
In 1983 she became a member of the European Women Improvising Group (EWIG), which resulted from former Feminist Improvising Group and in later 1980s she co-founded the feminist improvising Trio Les Diaboliques, with Schweizer and Nicols."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jo%C3%ABlle_L%C3%A9andre)
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At The Squid's Ear!
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European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Catalog ID: NB CD 62
Squidco Product Code: 18521
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded live at Centre Culturel Eihartzea in Hasparren on December 17th, 2011 by Jean-Marc Foussat.
Daunik Lazro-baritone saxophone
Joelle Leandre-bass, voice
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1. Hasparren I 5:00
2. Hasparren II 9:45
3. Hasparren III 3:33
4. Hasparren IV 12:47
5. Hasparren V 6:47
6. Hasparren VI 8:14