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Double bassist Pierre-Yves Martel adapts Prokofiev's Visions fugitives op.22, short pieces for solo piano, into vehicles for free-jazz exploration.

Martel's Quartetski, Pierre-Yves
Visions Fugitives op. 22: Quartetski Does Prokofiev

Martel's Quartetski, Pierre-Yves: Visions Fugitives op. 22: Quartetski Does Prokofiev (Ambiances Magnetiques)
Label: Ambiances Magnetiques    
Released in: Canada    

"Amidst the unrest of the Russian Revolution, Sergei Prokofiev wrote his Visions fugitives op.22, a series of short pieces for solo piano. The Visions were ideas or sketches that he captured and then set down on paper before they faded from his consciousness. Most of them are tens of seconds long, the longest barely reaching the two-minute mark.

It was the spontaneity of the pieces that caught the attention of Montreal double bassist Pierre-Yves Martel, whose ensemble Quartetski Does Prokofiev re-envisions the Visions fugitives in an improvisational context. Martel arranged the pieces for free-jazz quartet with the intention of using them as vehicles, bridges and platforms with which to explore new musical spaces. In his arrangements, he remained faithful to the spirit of the Russian composer, imagining how Prokofiev would have orchestrated the Visions had he adapted them to a modern jazz ensemble.

Double bassist, viola da gambist, composer and improviser Pierre-Yves Martel was born in Vanier, Ontario, in 1979. Since moving to Montréal in 2004, he has continued to prove himself as one of the truly promising Canadian musicians of his generation. He is an active member of Montreal's well-known improvisation music scene. He can often be heard playing with veterans such as Jean Derome, Joane Hétu, Lori Freedman and Danielle P. Roger, and enjoys a close working relationship with a new generation of musicians including Philippe Lauzier, Antoine Berthiaume, Isaiah Ceccarelli and Gordon Allen. Group projects include the Pure Evil Double Bass Quartet (ranked amongst the best performances of 2006 in All About Jazz New York), the New York-based Balkan-jazz group The Foreigners, Quartetski Does Prokofiev (new arrangements of Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives by Pierre-Yves Martel) and Rake Star, a group described by The Village Voice as "Canadians who look and sound like they just arrived from Saturn." Outside of the avant-garde, Pierre-Yves is also in demand in the worlds of orchestral and early music, both as a double bassist and as a gambist. He often performs with ensembles including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Fusions Chamber Ensemble, Opera Lyra, and the Mont-Royal Quintet. His compositions have been performed by groups such as the Ayorama Wind Quintet, the Suflatori Wind Trio and aired on CBC and Radio-Canada. He has also composed the original scores for the films Possible Fever and Hungry Ghosts by Canadian filmmaker JF Martel.

Trumpet player, improviser. Gordon Allen lives in Montreal and works with musicians, dancers, poets, artists, and other people who improvise. Performances include Vancouver, Toronto, New York, Seattle. Loves working with Pierre-Yves Martel, Esther B, John Heward, and especially with new friends. Curator of Improvising Montreal concert series (at Casa del Popolo). Teaches trumpet, rides bicycle year round, sits at Montreal Zen Centre. Interested in what happens.

Formerly a student at the Berklee College of Music and the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Isaiah Ceccarelli has lived in Montréal since 2003. He is a drummer and composer and has collaborated on various projects with many of Montréal's improvised music artists, including Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, Joane Hétu, Bernard Falaise, Michel F Côté and Fabrizio Gilardino. He has most recently appeared in concert with Alexandre Grogg, Pierre-Yves Martel, Philippe Lauzier, Esther B, Gordon Allen and Marianne Trudel. He writes for the Isaiah Ceccarelli Ensemble, as well as being quite active in the trio Steppe.

A composer, musician (saxophones, bass clarinet) and improviser, Philippe Lauzier lives in Montréal. He is active in the fields of jazz and "musique actuelle." Lauzier has studied the saxophone at the Montréal Conservatoire de musique and the Cégep St-Laurent, plus composition at the Université de Montréal. He has been participating to a number of projects in the last few years: the group "Ensemble en pièces," (CD Jardin d'exil AM 128); his own trio with bassist Miles Perkin and drummer Robbie Kuster (CD Today is a special day - AM 149); and the Spin Ensemble collective, also featuring four European musicians (Nils Ostendorf, Kim Myhr, Martin Taxt and Toma Gouband). In addition, Lauzier is involved in the various projects of - and takes part to free improvisation sessions with - Antoine Berthiaume (Rodéoscopique ), Isaiah Ceccarelli, Pierre-Yves Martel (Quartetski Does Prokofiev), Thom Gossage, Marianne Trudel, Christophe Papadimitriou and Gordon Allen, among others. In the last few years, as part of the aforementioned projects, he has played at the OFF-Montréal Jazz Festival, Festival des Musiques de Créations, the Montréal International Jazz Festival, Évidemment-Jazz, the Suoni per il Popolo Festival, the Convergences Series (Traquen'art), the Ottawa Jazz Festival, and various Maisons de la Culture in Montréal."-Ambiances Magnetiques

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Ambiances Magnetiques
December 2007
Compositional Forms
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Musique Actuelle
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Product Information:

UPC: 771028117123

Label: Ambiances Magnetiques
Catalog ID: AM 171
Squidco Product Code: 9100

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: Canada
Packaging: Cardstock gatefold foldover

Gordon Allen-trumpet

Isaiah Ceccarelli-drums

Philippe Lauzier-alto, soprano saxophones, bass clarinet

Pierre-Yves Martel-doublebass

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Track Listing:

Visions fugitives, Op. 22 (Prokofiev; Martel, arrangement) (1915-17)

1. Lentamente 3:58

2. Andante 3:25

3. Animato 1:16

4. Molto giocoso 3:33

5. Allegretto I 3:50

6. Con eleganza 2:58

7. Commodo 3:03

8. Allegretto tranquillo 2:22

9. Ridicolosamente 3:14

10. Con vivacità 5:44

11. Assai moderato 3:54

12. Feroce 1:47

13. Inquieto 5:00

14. Dolente 4:56

15. Presto agitatissimo e molto accentuato :50s

16. Con una dolce lentezza 3:05

17. Allegretto II 2:57

18. Lento irrealmente 2:45