A beautiful solo set of 12 improvisations, Michael Attias performing on alto sax with his left hand and piano with his right, captured in the natural reverberation of La Maison en Bois in Abeville-La-Riviere, France; surprisingly his 1st solo album, developed over 12 years yet played in under an hour with no retakes, a wonderful nuanced reflection in tone, melody & color.
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Label: Out Of Your Head Records
Catalog ID: OOYH 003
Squidco Product Code: 28107
Recorded at La Maison en Bois in Abeville-La-Riviere, France, on December 13th, 2017, by Celine Grangey.
Michael Attias-alto saxophone, piano
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• Show Bio for Michael Attias
"Michaël Attias is a quietly fierce force on the international improvising scene. With a brisk and calming tone Attias is a thinker, traveler, questioner. Born in Israel, raised in Paris and the American Midwest, he has lived in NYC since 1994.
As a leader, Attias has released five critically-acclaimed albums since 2005: Credo, Renku, Renku in Coimbra, Twines of Colesion and, in 2012, Spun Tree. As a sideman, he has performed and recorded all over the world alongside some of today's most compelling musicians: Anthony Braxton, Paul Motian, Anthony Coleman, Masabumi Kikuchi, Tony Malaby, Ralph Alessi, Oliver Lake, Tom Rainey, John Hébert, Nasheet Waits, Sean Conly, Ken Filiano, Kris Davis, and many others.
His current projects include his long-standing trio Renku, with John Hébert and Satoshi Takeishi; Spun Tree, with Ralph Alessi, Matt Mitchell, Sean Conly, Tom Rainey; and the new Michaël Attias Quartet with Aruàn Ortiz, John Hébert and Nasheet Waits.
Michaël Attias has also established himself as creator of live musical scores and sound designs for theatre including, since 2008, five collaborations with legendary director Robert Woodruff: Chair, Notes From Underground, Battle of Black and Dogs, Autumn Sonata, and In a year With Thirteen Moons. These were produced at such prominent New York and regional theatres as Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Baryshnikov Arts Center, and The Duke on 42nd Street.
Michaël Attias was named a 2000 Artists' Fellowship Recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts and was awarded a MacDowell Arts Colony fellowship in Fall 2008. From 2003 to 2008, he curated the critically acclaimed and highly successful new music series, Night of the Ravished Limbs, at Barbès in Brooklyn, welcoming a wide array of established names such as Barre Philips, Tim Berne, Mark Helias, Jason Moran, as well as an impressive list of rising New York talent including Mary Halvorson, Eivind Opsvik, Gerald Cleaver, and many more.
The product of migrations spanning North Africa, the Middle East, Western Europe and the American Midwest, Attias was born in Haïfa, Israel in 1968 and spent the first part of his childhood in Paris, where he attended the music conservatory and studied violin for a brief period. His family moved to Minneapolis in 1977. An early passion for the music of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman led him to start playing the alto saxophone at the age of 15 under the guidance of great Minneapolis saxophonist and composer Pat Moriarty, while attending the Children's Theatre School. Avid for adventure and experience, he graduated from high school as a junior and traveled for a year in Europe before enrolling at New York University as a Film and Music student. Somewhere in between, he had the great privilege of taking a couple of lessons with Lee Konitz. Judging that school was interfering with his education, he dropped out after the spring semester, went back to Paris for a year where he wrote a novel called Twines of Colesion (1000 pages thankfully destroyed), came back to the US for an eight-month cross-country trip that took him from New York City to San Francisco via Mexico, and returned to Paris in 1989 where he became bartender at the IACP, a music school founded by legendary bassist Alan Silva. There he met such heroes of the ex-pat scene as Steve Lacy, Sunny Murray, Frank Wright, Bobby Few and others. He recorded with a pianoless quartet dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk, Four in One (In Situ 1992), made his first album as leader and composer with a quintet of French musicians (released on Igal Foni's For Elevators/Jazzis, 1993). In January 1993, at the prompting of Anthony Braxton, he moved back to the US, sat in on his classes at Wesleyan University for one semester and finally moved to New York the following winter."-Michael Attias Website (http://www.michaelattias.com/html/about.php)
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1. Echoes I: Mauve 4:24
2. Trinite 4:25
3. Grass 4:40
4. Autumn I 2:20
5. Autumn II 4:27
6. Fenix III 4:51
7. Circles 5:42
8. Rue Oberkampf 3:12
9. Wrong Notes 1:22
10. Song For The Middle Pedal 6:49
11. Sea In The Dark 4:56
12. Echoes II: Night 5:43
sample the album:
"Échos la nuit, Michael Attias' first solo album, was twelve years in gestation and recorded in a little over an hour. There are no overdubs: the alto is played with the left hand, the piano with the right. The reverberation is from the room and the sympathetic resonance of the piano strings set into vibration by the sound of the saxophone and intricate pedal-work. Mixed-limb unison timbres and dislocations tune a line suspended in what Busoni, referring to the sustain pedal, called "a picture of the sky" ... melodies in free fall, echoes the night ..."-Out Of Your Head Records
"Sax player Michaël Attias is often described as one of the most questing and keenly collaborative figures on the New York jazz scene, His first solo album, échos la nuit (Echo by Night) finds him collaborating with himself, playing simultaneously "left-hand alto (sax)/right-hand piano/right foot sustain pedal". This album was "twelve years in gestation and recorded in a little over an hour ". No overdubs, just "melodies in free fall... The reverberation is from the room and the sympathetic resonance of the piano strings set into vibration by the sound of the saxophone."
The 12 short pieces were improvised, recorded at La Maison en Bois in Abéville-La-Rivière, France, in December 2017. Still, all highlight his highly personal concept of sensual lyricism, "a kind of musical synesthesia, but where music is the only subject and the only object", as his friend and close collaborator Anthony Coleman calls it (Attias guested on many of Coleman's albums, beginning on Selfhaters, Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture, 1996).
These instant, supposedly simple, compositions allude to Attias' nuanced and imaginative language as well as his unique sense of space. The mysterious "Trinité" plays with angular-serpentine Monk-ish lines and brings to mind Steve Lacy interpretation of Thelonious Monk work. The whispering, seductive alto sax on "Grass" adapts North African scales. "Fenix III" borrows a chord from the late Japanese pianist Masabumi Kikuchi, with whom he performed and later was inspired by him to compose "Nerve & Limbo" (Nerve Dance, Clean Feed, 2017). "Circles" is a deep meditation on extended breathing techniques where every touch of the sax key and every blow is a decisive one. "Rue Oberkampf" goes back to Attias' early twenties in Paris studying Schillinger Technique of Musical Composition. "Song for the Middle Pedal" charms with its quiet innocence. "Sea in the Dark" and the last "Echoes II: Night" offers dark, film-noir narratives, still, surprises with their suggestive, poetic tone on both the sax and the piano.
And back to Anthony Coleman that reminds us the wise words of Morton Feldman: "Now that everything's so simple, there's so much to do." You should listen to the many, enchanting things that Michaël Attias does."-Eyal Hareuveni, The Free Jazz Collective
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