The Squid's Ear Magazine

Leandre, Joelle / Pascal Contet: Area Sismica (We Insist! Records)

A live concert at Area Sismica, Forlì, in 2019 between two masterful French improvisers--double bassist Joëlle Léandre and accordionist Pascal Contet-- each pushing each other in both melodic and abstract improvisations with occasional vocal asides, as they engage their listeners through surprising twists and turns while exploring the farthest reaches of their instruments.

Price: $21.95


Out of Stock

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Sample The Album:

product information:


Joelle Leandre-double bass

Pascal Contet-accordion

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

UPC: 8056157050209

Label: We Insist! Records
Catalog ID: WEIN 012CD
Squidco Product Code: 29774

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Italy
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded live at Area Sismica, Forl“, April the 14th 2019 by Matteo Valla

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"[...] On the other hand veteran associates Léandre and Contet begin their live concert with the longest and most intense improvisation. Featuring fluid accordion whooshes and florid arco vamps from the bassist, the two move from moderato to multphonics with contrasting pumps and burbles. At the same time among the airy echoes and expelled vibrations, thickening output from both players means that the narrative stays low pitched and abrasive. This variant of parry-and-thrust continues though the other six variations of "area sismica". Squealing and slithering the string and bellows textures encompass staccato and slack; near-inaudible and stentorian; and sudden jumps or level motion. Whether by accident or design "area sismica IV" and "area sismica V" end up being showcases of Contet or Léandre respectively. On the first the accordionist produces massive pipe organ-like glissandi throughout that are decorated with the occasional higher-pitched jiggle from his other hand plus bass string buzzes. The second emphasizes the woodiness of the bass with surface rubs alternating with spiccato movements and eventually spiraling stops that swiftly swell to an applauded ending.

Before that, "area sismica III" stretches the interface still further when Léandre challenges Contet's spreading out shrilling with verbal gurgles and growls that move between Edith Piaf-like excess and bel canto whispers. Finally reaching a crescendo her bedlam-styled murmurs join squeeze box cross tone and pitches and her own triple pumping. With the two final, post applause tracks more encores than extended codas, expected and unexpected timbres from each continue to complement each others' lines. Attaining a sequence of polytonal peeps in the calliope register from the squeeze box plus echoing low-pitched pumps from the double bass, the duo finishes with the same power with which it began.

It might be more prominent in other musical circumstances, but these unique sessions thoroughly confirm the accordion's place in advanced music."-Ken Waxman, JazzWord

Get additional information at Jazzword

Artist Biographies

"Joëlle Léandre is a famous French Bassist and is known for her collaborations with other musicians in the field of improvised music. Born in France on September 12th, 1951, she made her music debut in 1984 with Les Douze Sons. Her childhood was filled with music, and she was particularly interested in the piano during her early years. In her later years, she developed an interest in double bass, which won her many honors and scholarships during her education. Her double bass teacher Pierre Delescluse encouraged her to apply to the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, where she was formally trained and noticed for her talent in the bass. Her outstanding musicianship took her to the United States and to the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts in Buffalo through a scholarship. In the United States, she expanded her network and met some of the best composers, such as John Cage, Giacinto Scelsi, and Morton Feldman. Among them, John Cage greatly influenced her music and compositions. Her time in the United States also enabled her to experience downtown New York music, which was another significant influence that led to her continued involvement in the field of improvised music.

Some of her notable collaborations in the field of contemporary music are with Pierre Boulez, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, and Giacinto Scelsi. Among them, John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi were the biggest influences in her life and music. In an interview, Joëlle Léandre said that John Cage was her spiritual father and changed her perception of sound and music. In another interview, she tells how Giacinto Scelsi allowed her to discover her own music and how his music transported her into a new world of improved consciousness. In the field of jazz music, she collaborated with Derek Bailey, William Parker, and Sebi Tramontana. Her music was owned and distributed by different music labels, including FMP, Leo, RougueArt, and Red Toucan. Some memorable songs and albums she released throughout the years include Instant Replay, Les Douze sons, Trios, Sweet Zee, Frerebet, Joelle et Tetsu, Philippe Fenelon, Voyages, etc. Some of the recent releases include Can You Hear Me and Unleashed. She has also performed live at the Tampere Jazz Festival twice, where popular international artists compete with each other.

Joëlle Léandre is also the member of European Women's Improvising Group (EWIG). The group evolved from the Feminist Improvising Group, and Joëlle Léandre joined the group in 1983. In the early 1900s, she co-founded Les Diaboliques with Irene Schweizer and Maggie Nicols, who were her long-time musician friends. Besides that, she also teaches several classes in prestigious universities about contemporary and improvised music. She has lived in France, Germany, and U.S during her lifetime, teaching at academic institutions in the religions and playing concerts. In 2002, she was invited to Canada as a visiting professor for music and composition."

-Joelle Leandre Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"After a private career in France, Pascal Contet continued his musical studies in Friborg (Switzerland), at the Musikhochschule in Hanover, at the Royal Conservatory of Copenhagen and at the Akademie der Künste in Graz. Laureate of the Cziffra (1983) and Menuhin (1986) foundations, he received the Bleustein-Blanchet Foundation Prize for Vocation in 1989. In 2012, first for the accordion, he was nominated for the Victoires de la musique classique (categories " Instrumental soloist of the year "and" recording of the year ").

Since 1993, he has been working on the constitution of a repertoire for accordion and today has to his credit around 300 creations from influential composers such as Claude Ballif, Franck Bedrossian, Luciano Berio, Edith Canat de Chizy, Bernard Cavanna, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Peter Eötvös, Ivan Fedele, Sofia Gubaïdulina, Philippe Hurel, Bruno Mantovani, Sébastien Rivas, Yann Robin among others.

Invited by prestigious national and international festivals, he plays with the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchester de la Suisse Romande, the Orchester National de l'Opéra de Paris, the Orchester de Chambre de Lausanne, Les Siècles sous the direction of Diégo Masson, Pierre Boulez, Esa- Pekka Salonen, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Susanna Mäkkli. François-Xavier Roth, Daniel Kawka in around 57 countries among others at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Stadthalle in Wuppertal, Timisoara, Berkeley University, Shanghai Opera, Tokyo, Seoul Arts center, Yangon (Goethe Institut de Birmanie), Mexico Unam, Cervantino Festival, Tashkent, Almata, Bogota (Sala Arango), eleven countries in West and Central Africa, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Berlin, Hannover ...

A permanent member of the 2e2m and Ars Nova ensembles, he also performs with the Short-circuit ensembles and the Modern Ensemble and has as chamber music partners the clarinetist Paul Meyer, the cellist Ophélie Gaillard, the Diotima, Danel and again Debussy.

With Les Siècles, the Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain, the Orchestras of Picardy, Brittany, Strasbourg, Auvergne, Lorraine, Mulhouse, Bratislava, Pascal Contet performs the accordion concertos dedicated to him by Jean Françaix, Bernard Cavanna, Bruno Mantovani (2018)

Composer-performer, he collaborates with Marie-Christine Barrault, Anne Alvaro, Fabrice Melquiot, François Marthouret or Dieudonné Niangouna (Festival d'Avignon at the Cloître des Célestins). He is preparing for a play with the actress Séverine Ferrer.

For 25 years, he has been improvising in the company of double bass player Joëlle Léandre (Choc de Jazz Magazine for their record 3). He has been performing and recording with the famous mouth organ player Wu Wei since 2003, invited singer Camille to join him during his residency at the Europajazz festival, some duets and trios with Scanner (Robin Rimbaud), Joël Cadbury or even with the Kinshasa group: Jupiter Okwess international.

His predilection for improvisation continues with the accompaniment of silent films (cine-concerts) or in the field of digital visual arts with the artist Miguel Chevalier and his Origine du monde and in interactive digital visual creation Other worlds from the 2018-2019 season with Thierry Coduys. Very original and intense, his Utopian Wind recital takes place in immersion in the dark.

He has composed several performance music for Odile Duboc, Mié Coquempot, Fattoumi-Lamoureux, Loic Touzé, Lola Sémonin (La Madeleine Proust), Didier Galas, Dieudonné Niangouna (Les Inepties volantes), Le Vent des Anches, fictional music for France 2 and France 3, cinema for François Marthouret, for Delle Piane - Alain Margot (Télévision Suisse romande), Credits of the Belfort Film Festival, Canal + and parade for the top designer Franck Sorbier (Fall-winter 2016 parade)

Among his 50 discographic opuses, Utopian Wind released under his own label Plein Jeu and Lyric Fantasies, recorded with clarinetist Paul Meyer at Sony Classical, were enthusiastically relayed by the press."

-Pascal Contet Website (Translated by Google) (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Track Listing:

1. Area Sismica I 11:30

2. Area Sismica II 04:44

3. Area Sismica III 08:52

4. Area Sismica IV 04:39

5. Area Sismica V 07:18

6. Area Sismica VI 06:14

7. Area Sismica VII 06:17

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Duo Recordings
Piano & Keyboards
Stringed Instruments

Search for other titles on the label:
We Insist! Records.

Recommended & Related Releases:
Other Recommended Releases:
Leandre, Joelle
At Souillac en Jazz
(Ayler Records)
An extraordinary solo double bass set recorded at Saint-Jacques church of Cales, Lot, France in 2021 as part of the Souillac en Jazz festival from Joëlle Léandre, reaching into the depths for an incomparable and intensely concentrated display of technical skill and passion on the deep strings; captivating, visceral and cathartic.
Leandre, Joelle
Beauty / Resistance [3 CD BOX]
(Not Two)
Live concert recordings at Alchemia club in Krakow captured during the Krakow Jazz Autumn Festival 2019 while double bassist Joëlle Léandre held residence, 3 CDs presenting first a quartet with Zlatko Kaucic on drums & percussion, Mateusz Rybicki on clarinets and Zbigniew Kozera on bass, then one disc in a duo with Zlatko Kaucic and another with guitarist Rafal Mazure.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:
Brotzmann, Peter / Fred Van Hove / Han Bennink
Jazz in der Kammer Nr.71 [VINYL 2 LPs]
(Trost Records)
Recorded for radio for the series Jazz in der Kammer Nr 71, this 1974 concert was the first in East Germany for Peter Brötzmann, Fred Van Hove, and Han Bennink, bridging the divided German states through an energetic set of improvisations that extended traditional jazz with outrageous approaches to improv in an exciting, quirky and profoundly masterful set of European Free Jazz.
Smith, Wadada Leo / Vijay Iyer / Jack Dejohnette
A Love Sonnet For Billie Holiday
One of two albums marking trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith's 80th birthday, and showing his creative and technical skills still in peak form, here in a trio for the first time uniting independent collaborators, pianist & keyboardist Vijay Iyer and drummer Jack DeJohnette, in compositions from each of the performers plus one collective improvisation.
Grande Casino [3 CDS]
A truly diverse set of improvisations, from solo work to large scale ensemble, as Euphorium_Freakestra are joined by European Free Jazz legends, drummer Baby Sommer and double bassist Barry Guy, in a band with leader & pianist Oliver Schwerdt, plus Bertrand Denzler, Burkard Beins, John Eckhardt, Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, Patrick Schanze, Daniel Beilschmidt & Freidrich Kettlitz.
Braxton, Anthony
12 Duets (DCWM) 2012 [12 CD Box Set]
(New Braxton House)
Newly Distributed in 2021: A 12-CD set presenting Braxton in dialogue with three distinctive duet partners: violinist Erica Dicker, vocalist Kyoko Kitamura and bassoonist Katherine Young, recorded in the summer of 2012 over two sessions with each player, a remarkable and expansive set of innovative and creative improvisation.
Metal Chaos Ensemble
Don Quixote
(Evil Clown)
An epic journey through diverse improvisational approaches within a composed framework, using heavy percussion of unusual & world origins, electronics, rock/groove elements and prepared mixes created from samples, from the Boston duo of David Peck (PEK) on reeds & an arsenal of devices & sources, and Yuri Zbitnoff on drums & percussion, with narration points along the way.
Taylor, Cecil Quintet (feat. Harri Sjostrom / Tristan Honsinger / Teppo Hauta-aho / Paul Lovens)
Lifting The Bandstand
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
Though not well documented, free jazz legendary pianist Cecil Taylor's working band for 3 years in the late nineties was this quintet of Harri Sjostrom on soprano saxophone, Tristan Honsinger on cello, Teppo Hauta-aho on double bass, and Paul Lovens on drums, cymbals & gongs, heard in this energetic concert at Tampere Jazz Happening in Finland, 2018.
Shipp, Matthew / Evan Parker
Leonine Aspects
Meeting in France in 2017 for the Festival Météo de Mulhouse, Evan Parker alternating between soprano and tenor saxophones and Matthew Shipp on acoustic piano, present an epic extended improvisation that naturally evolves through several sections, followed by a brief post-script, each musician attentively focused as they support the clarity of each other's playing.
Crispell / Prevost / Smith
American pianist Marilyn Crispell joined London Improviser's Orchestra saxophonist & clarinetist Harry Smith and AMM drummer Eddie Prévost for this 2012 concert at London's Cafe OTO, playing in a melodic free jazz mode of passionate interaction and deep communication, resulting in an unforced and naturally masterful set of thoughtfully lyrical improvisation.
Various Artists (curated by Nick Vander)
Walk My Way, Volume One
The first of a five-volume compilation series curated by Nick Vander, a testament to the incredible musical range of the guitar and the imaginative possibility of guitarists around the world, with tracks from L. Hein, Davaajargal Tsaschikher, Alan Courtis, Marco Cappelli, Elliott Sharp, Hery Ujjaya, Killick Hinds, Gilbert Isbin, and Nick Vander.
Taylor, Cecil / Tony Oxley
Being Astral And All Registers - Power Of Two
Taken from the personal archives of UK drummer/percussionist Tony Oxley, this extremely well recorded duo session with frequent collaborator, iconoclastic NY pianist Cecil Taylor, are heard in a live performance at the Ulrichsberg Festival, Austria in 2002 for a brilliantly frenetic and masterfully controlled, creative set of two jaw-dropping extended dialogs.
Dunmal, Paul Sextet (Dunmall / Pursglove / Foote / Saunders / Owston / Bashford)
Cosmic Dream Projection
A studio project led by Paul Dumall on alto & tenor saxophones and alto flute, recorded while on touring hiatus during the pandemic, composing six passionate and melodically charged works performed by the brilliant sextet of Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Richard Foote on trombone, Steven Saunders on guitar, James Owston on bass, and Jim Bashford on drums.
Dunmall, Paul with Metcalfe / Owston / Jozwiak
The other side of Paul Dunmall's characteristic saxophone work is heard here on the alto flute, bringing Dunmall together with fellow flutist Neil Metcalf and the rhythm section of James Owston on bass and Tymek Jozwiak on drums for four exceptional improvisations that focus more on interaction and less on soloing, showcasing all four through sophisticated performance.
Regenorchester XII
(Trost Records)
Franz Hautzinger formed the orchestra in 1995 as an ensemble for experimental music, developing into an advanced improvising band that incorporates a shifting and diverse set of styles, heard here at Klangspuren Festival in 2019 with Hautzinger on trumpet, Christian Fennesz on guitar & laptop, Otomo Yoshihide on guitar & turntables, Luc Ex on bass, and Tony Buck on drums.
Abrams', Joshua Cloud Script
Cloud Script
Double bassist Joshua Abrams provides the compositions for this studio album performed with Ari Brown on tenor sax, Jeff Parker on guitar and Gerald Cleaver on drums, an exceptional quartet of master improvisers who balance lyrical and soulful playing with explorative impulse, fueled by an empathetic responsiveness that only a long history of collaboration can engender.
Wooley, Nate
Seven Storey Mountain VI
(Pyroclastic Records)
Composer & trumpeter Nate Wooley presents the 6th composition of his SSM series exploring music's ability to bring catharsis and ecstatic release to the performers and listeners, in a large ensemble of 11 musicians and voice, in a stunningly sophisticated large work of modern orchestration through acoustic and electronic/amplified instruments; a masterwork.
Lubelski, Samara
Partial Infinite Sequence
(Relative Pitch)
Performing solo on violin with surrounding effects that emphasize the dramatic tension in her extended sequences, Samara Lubelski presents two substantial journeys into the infinite, swirling in delays and reverb as her bow transitions from rapid up and down to long drawing and sustaining, pulling a variety of sounds that elate her listeners in spirals and eddies.
Neuringer, Keir / Shayna Dulberger / Julius Masri
Dromedaries II
(Relative Pitch)
Hard-edged free long form improvisation from the 2nd album from the Dromedaries trio of Keir Neuringer on saxophone, Shayna Dulberger on bass, and Julius Masri on drums, performing at Seizures Palace, in Brooklyn, using unusual rhythmic structures over which the trio's instrumental physicality ranges from savage playing to impressive flights of virtuosity.
Clucas, Dan / Jeb Bishop / Damon Smith / Matt Crane
Universal or Directional
(Balance Point Acoustics)
Three quartet improvisations and six duo combinations between Dan Clucas on cornet, Jeb Bishop on trombone, Damon Smith on double bass, and Matt Crane on drums, recording in the studio in Rhode Island, 2018, the various permutations of each player elucidating the full group interactions through focused and captivating investigations of instrumental combinations.
Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito)
Futari (meaning "two people") is the stunningly beautiful debut album of pianist Satoko Fujii and vibraphonist Taiko Saito, recorded in 2019 after a concert tour in Japan, the confluence of these similar instruments and the performer's technical mastery blending in introspective and active modes, adding rich sonic dimensions through preparations and extraordinary technique.
Gato Libre (Tamura / Fjuii / Kaneko)
The 8th album from Gato Libre with compositions from trumpeter Natsuki Tamura in a trio with Yasuko Kaneko on trombone and pianist Satoko Fujii here on accordion, Koneko translating to "Kitten", as Tamura explores 8 new cats from strays to shop cats through deceptively simple pieces of melodic appeal of warm color, tone & texture; absolutely charming.
Jubileum Quartet (Leandre / Parker / Fermandez / Kaucic)
(Not Two)
Celebrating 40 years of Zlatko Kaucic's professional career as a musician, the quartet of Joelle Leandre on acoustic bass, Evan Parker on tenor saxophone, Agusti Fernandez on piano, and Zlatko Kaucic on drums & objects are heard live at the 23th Cerkno Jazz Festival in 2018 for an extended and stunning set, from the most active to the most introspective of moments.
Brotzmann, Peter / Lonberg-Holm, Fred
Memories Of A Tunicate
(Relative Pitch)
While both improvisers were in New York City for the 2019 Vision Festival, multi-reedist and European Free Improv legend Peter Brötzmann met Chicago cellist and electronics artist Fred Lonberg-Holm to record their 3rd album together, their 1st album in the studio a diverse set of incredible concentration, with Brötzmann performing on tenor saxophone, woodwind, and clarinet.
Rumback, Charles
June Holiday
(Astral Spirits)
A soulful and lyrically passionate album of modern jazz from Chicago drummer Charles Rumback in a trio with pianist Jim Baker and bassist John Tate, their third album together, with all three bringing compositions to the session, yielding a sensitive, understated yet impeccable balance of melodic music that reveals great strength at its center.
Karayorgis / McBride / Smith / Gray / Rosenthal
(Driff Records)
Merging two Boston-based trios--Cliff of bassist Damon Smith, drummer Eric Rosenthal and pianist Pandelis Karayorgis, and Pools of bassist Nate McBride, drummer Luther Gray, and Karayorgis--performing Karayorgis compositions with collective input from all five, creating profoundly great music in a shared language fueled by long collaborative relationships.

The Squid's Ear Magazine

The Squid's Ear Magazine

© 2002-, Squidco LLC