Phil Minton started as a trumpeter and became one of free improv's most outside vocalists; Joelle Leandre is a double bassist who also performs free vocal improv; this is their first recorded collaboration, and it's an unusual and wonderful album of heavy tone improvisation, plucked and bowed, and a masterfully odd free association of vocalisation.
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Label: Fou Records
Catalog ID: FR-CD24
Squidco Product Code: 24797
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at 19 rue Paul Fort, in Paris, France, on October 8th, 2016, by Jean-Marc Foussat.
Joelle Leandre-contrebasse, voice
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1. Si, lence 31:42
2. Is 7:31
3. Blu, ish 6:10
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sample the album:
"When it comes to free-improvisation you most likely don't need more than the surnames of French double bass master Joëlle Léandre and British vocal master Phil Minton. The front cover of their first-ever recorded duo betrays no other information besides the surname and an incidental photo of sky.
Actually, you need nothing more. Just mentioning the surnames of these elder statespersons of free-improvisation (Léandre was crowned earlier this year as a French knight, member of the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres) together is enough. Their names alone act as a powerful incantation, and you, the listener, already know that you had better surrender. Surrender fully to the beautiful, elusive art of creating-improvising-composing in the moment.
Léandre and Minton were captured playing live in Paris in October 2016. The inside cover quotes influential Dadaist poet, essayist and performance artist Tristan Tzara's (1896-1963) poem L'homme approximatif, chant VI. And, indeed, this live recording - as can be seen in the attached you-tube video - radiates a similar anarchist spirit, one that defies all conventions and conceptions.
The recording is divided into three, koan-like titles, the 32-minutes "Si,lence" and the shorter "is" and "blu,ish". "Si,lence" brings together the hyperactive, trains of thoughts, associations and ideas of Léandre and Minton. Both are wandering through abstract, free-associative textures, chatting and sharing obscene secrets in undecipherable languages, losing their minds and way in colorful-psychedelic labyrinths and sudden rhythms and totally enjoying this close, busy improvisation. Léandre's associative operatic-conversational-vocalizations are answered beautifully by Minton and both sound as not only as master improvisers but also as experienced performance artists-actors who know how to win bemused audiences with their nuanced weird stories and their unique physical performances.
Minton opens the following, short "is" with suggestive bird calls, whistling and singing fragmented melodies. Léandre's surprisingly economic and disciplined playing puts some order to his ornithological stream of vocalizations, but eventually joins Minton's playful attempt to lure as many birds as possible to their stage. "bluish" proves again and again that Léandre and Minton play as inseparable twins, communicating instantly and telepathically. Both transform any idea, strange and bizarre as it may, into a colorful, ecstatic operatic act, and this one even ends with few symbolic snores.
Magnificent!"-Eyal Hareuveni, The Free Jazz Collective
Get additional information at The Free Jazz Collective
• 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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• Show Bio for Phil Minton
"Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s- Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980's.
For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as a improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations, all over the place. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians.
Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries."-Phil Minton Website (https://www.philminton.co.uk/8-2/)
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