Vocalist Sophie Tassignon & saxophonist Peter Van Huffel in a series of improvisations showing an intimate dialog amidst Tassignon's uniquely inventive vocal styling.
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Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF126
Squidco Product Code: 10761
Packaging: Cardstock Gatefold Sleeve
Recorded February 14th, 2008 at Systems Two Studios, Brooklyn, New York by Joe Marciano.
Peter Van Huffel-alto and soprano saxophones
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1. Dégringolade 4:09
2. Thoughts And Memories 6:46
3. Cum Dederit 4:19
4. The Sad Imposing Tree 4:13
5. Landscape (Morning) 6:14
6. Nervous Breakdown 2:46
7. Duo (Kobenhavn) 7:25
8. Quelquepart À Nullepart 5:29
9. I Love You, Too 3:40
10. The Hours 2:39
Unusual Vocal Forms
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"You may not be familiar with van Huffel's and Tassignon's names, but don't direct your attention to something else so quickly. Why? Because you're gonna hear about the saxophonist and the singer very often in the years to come. Both are values in fast ascension in the international scene and it's best to follow their tracks since the beginning. The Canadian, but living in New York, Peter van Huffel is a pupil of tenor great Tony Malaby, and only that information would be sufficient to have an idea of his profile - the words "powerful" and "lyrical" come to mind. But we have more data about him: he played already with people like Chris Potter, Clarence Penn and Danny McCaslin, and knowing this is enlightening. Belgian of origin and a former student of David Linx, Sophie Tassignon is getting more famous in Europe because of her very personal and unique way to deal with "unsingable melodies" and her quick and inventive reactions in improvising situations. And she's not shy at all doing so, as we can verify listening to the vocal band she co-founded, Screaming Bitches. Trombonist Samuel Blaser and bassist Michael Bates are their partners in the quartet effort titled "HuffLiGNon", and the same we have to say about them: watch out!"-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Peter Van Huffel
"A prolific saxophonist, clarinetist and composer, Peter Van Huffel appears frequently in all sorts of ensembles and musical settings with musicians from around the world. He is the leader of the punk-jazz trio GORILLA MASK, (with bassist Roland Fidezius and drummer Rudi Fischerlehner), which has been active since 2009 and has performed at some of the most recognized venues across Europe and toured across Canada in 2013. They released their debut CD, "HOWL!", in 2012 on the German label "Between the Lines Records", and their second album, "Bite My Blues", in 2014 on the acclaimed Portuguese avant-garde label "Clean Feed Records" - both of which received rave reviews across Europe, North America and Japan, as well as much attention in radio and print media around the world.
Peter has also worked as the co-leader of two ensembles with Belgian vocalist Sophie Tassignon: the Berlin based ensemble House of Mirrors - a chamber style group featuring pianist Julie Sassoon and bassist Meinrad Kneer, which can be heard on their 2014 release "Act One" (featuring the group's original bassist, Miles Perkin); and HuffLiGNoN with bassist Michael Bates and trombonist Samuel Blaser, which released it's debut album on "Clean Feed Records" in 2008 to outstanding reviews including a Disque d'Émoi from France's Jazz Magazine - one of the magazine's top monthly mentions. The music of House of Mirrors covers an eclectic array of spectrums, including influences from 20th century composers, exploratory improvisations and lyrical songs. HuffLiGNoN, also chamber-esque but with heavier jazz influences, held performances in New York, Canada, and completed three extensive tours of Europe in 2008 and 2009.
In 2009, Peter developed an international quartet featuring musicians from all over the globe who came together in Berlin and Cologne to record Peter's second disc for Fresh Sound Records, "Like the Rusted Key". In 2010, this international quartet, (featuring New York pianist Jesse Stacken, bassist Miles Perkin, and Swiss drummer Samuel Rohrer), followed the release of their critically acclaimed CD with a series of four tours across Europe and a cross-Canada tour which included performances at some of Canada's top jazz festivals. Previously, Peter led the New York based PVH Quintet with Jesse Stacken, Scott DuBois, Michael Bates and Jeff Davis during his 2002-08 NYC residency. The group held regular performances at such New York staples as the 55 Bar, The Tea Lounge and the Cornelia Street Café, and toured Canada frequently. They can be heard on Peter's 2007 Fresh Sound Records release, "Silvester Battlefield" and on their 2005 independent release "On Common Ground".
Aside from GORILLA MASK, Peter is currently active with a slew of other projects including the Berlin duo KRONIX with Canadian-Ukrainian guitarist Alex Maksymiw - which released their debut CD on Fresh Sound records in early 2016; the New-York based trio BOOM CRANE, featuring Michael Bates (bass) and Jeff Davis (drums) which released its debut CD in 2014 (also on Fresh Sound/New Talent); and the Berlin based collaborative trio The Scrambling EX with legendary German musicians Andreas Willers and Oliver Steidle, which released it's debut album on England's FMR records in 2015. In addition, Peter also performs as a part of the Meinrad Kneer Quintet, the Scott Fields Freetet, and frequently with American guitarist Dan Nettles.
Aside from Peter's extensive discography as a bandleader, he can be heard on the 2006 release by the New York trio ANIMAL FORUM; two discs by NYC based guitarist Lily Maase; a re-scored DVD/CD release of the Buster Keaton film "Steamboat Bill Jr." by guitarist Dan Nettles as well as Dan's recent vinyl releases "Inside Voices" and "Outside Choices" (2015) with his regular ensemble Kenosha Kid; the 2014 release GrunGrauBraun on Gligg Records by the German ensemble HUM; and his debut CD from 2003, "Mind Over Matter" featuring his early Toronto-based ensemble. Peter also performs frequently with a number of other musicians from Europe, North America and beyond in variety of improvised and original-music settings."-Peter Van Huffel Website (https://petervanhuffel.com/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Samuel Blaser
"[...] Born and raised in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland - a lesser-known but no less significant jazz metropolis which was, for a time, home to expatriate Americans Sidney Bechet and Kenny Clarke, as well as Swiss jazz trombonist Raymond Droz - Blaser has also spent considerable time living in New York City and currently resides in Berlin; truly an international musician, then, in clear defiance of boundaries cultural, musical and stylistic. Beginning trombone lessons at the age of 9, he "couldn't go past third position and had to have a trolley to carry trombone because it was too heavy," says Blaser. Still, with plenty of music in the Blaser household, where he was the middle of three children - ranging from Swiss folk music to American R&B and jazz - Blaser progressed quickly, entering the local conservatory at 14 and graduating seven years later in 2002 after receiving a number of awards in both the jazz and classical spheres, including the 2000 Benny Golson Prize.
Continuing private studies, Blaser began a number of significant associations, including the heralded Vienna Art Orchestra and European Radio Big Band, leading to a Fulbright scholarship which enabled him to study in the United States at the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, going on to win the J.J. Johnson Prize, as well as both the Public Prize and Jury's Favorite Player awards at the 2006 Fribourg Jazz Festival.
All of these diverse accomplishments have ultimately - and inevitably - led to Blaser finding a personal nexus where disparate elements like Indian Tihi and Wagnerian opera meet. Blaser's impressive improvisational Ã©lan is predicated on instrumental mastery that is nothing more than the means to very musical ends. Together with his equally unfettered quartet, Blaser continues to expand the purview of jazz, redefining it in the new millennium as it enters its second century of existence.
Beyond Blaser's ability to combine knotty compositional form with incendiary improvisational prowess in the context of his own music, his unfettered yet ever-collaborative approach has resulted in a number of significant associations, among them his ongoing work with Swiss percussion legend Pierre Favre; a much-lauded duo with pianist Malcolm Braff; touring in 2012 as a member of FranÃ§ois Houle's recent 5+1 group, and heard on the French Canadian clarinetist's Genera (Songlines, 2012); and recording/performing with Berlin-based Canadian saxophonist Peter van Huffel's HuffLiGNoN group with singer Sophie Tassignon. Blaser has also shared the stage with artists including trombonist David Taylor, bassist Michael Blake, drummer John Hollenbeck and pianist Hal Galper. It's no surprise that Rene Laanen of USA Trombone Online has called Blaser" one of todayÂ´s finest trombonists."
2013 will see Blaser touring with two new trios: one that, in addition to Marc Ducret, will also feature Danish drummer Peter Bruun; and another featuring French pianist Benoit Delbecq and American drummer Gerry Hemingway. Equally important, Blaser will also reunite his Consort in Motion (Kind of Blue, 2011) Quartet with pianist Russ Lossing, Belgian reed player Joachim Badenhorst, bassist Drew Gress and Hemingway, who replaces the sadly deceased Paul Motian. That record - Blaser's first and only to include a pianist, marrying the seemingly disparate elements of Renaissance and Baroque period composition with more open-ended jazz improvisation - was praised by All About Jazz's Troy Collins as " Fearlessly modern, yet respectfully regal." Collins continues, asserting that "Blaser's adventurous arrangements and reinterpretations offer the best of both worlds, enriching the raw impetuousness of avant-garde jazz with the proven sophistication of ageless classical forms. Consort in Motion is a high-water mark in the enduring lineage of the Third Stream, and all the more inspiring for the focus of its vision."
Meanwhile, with the release of As the Sea - like Boundless, a live recording but one culled from a single performance - Blaser reaps the rewards of greater trust and personal camaraderie built with Ducret, Oester and Cleaver through additional touring, following the release of their debut recording. "The music is quite different from the first record," says Blaser, "because things are more written. It's a little more complex rhythmically, too. But it's crazy, because I can play anything - a single note, even - and everybody will move with me. It's pretty intense."
Between recording and touring with his own groups and collaborating in other leaders' ensembles, Blaser's career continues an upward trajectory that seems to have no end in sight. "The world of music fascinates me to no end, and I´m determined to take one journey after another with my instrument and work," says Blaser. "It´s all about discovery and communicating new ideas. Believe me, I´m proof that a shiny trombone can send a message right to your heart and change your life." "-Samuel Blaser Website (https://www.samuelblaser.com/biography/)
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