The Squid's Ear Magazine


Leandre, Joelle: Zurich Concert (Intakt)

A tour-de-force solo concert from the masterful improvising French double bassist Joëlle Léandre, performing at Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zurich in 2022, mostly performed through an astounding bowing exposition, accompanied at times by her worldless vocal improvising, the five parts of this concert evoking passion, power, and a lifetime of profound expression.
 

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Personnel:



Joelle Leandre-double bass, voice


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UPC: 7640120194024

Label: Intakt
Catalog ID: ITK402.2
Squidco Product Code: 33078

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 3 Panels w/ booklet
Recorded live at Kunstraum Walcheturm, in Zurich, Switcherland, on March 17th, 2022, by Willy Strehler.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Joelle Leandre is a living legend. It is almost impossible to list all the international greats of free music with whom Leandre has played in her decades-long career. With Zurich Concert, the magician and rebel on the double bass presents an impressive solo statement. "It is no coincidence that she once described the bass as her bedrock, her spinal column and the place where she stores her memories. Joelle Leandre does not play music, she lives it... (she) spins a continuous thread of sound which never snaps. On the contrary, she keeps spinning it onwards. We hear both high energy and quiet tenderness, but the transitions are always seamless and organic. In her bass playing and with her voice. No stopping, no pause within the individual improvisations. Onwards, ever onwards. A true magician of sound."-Nina Polaschegg, liner notes



"A solo concert by the double bassist Joëlle Léandre is a happening, an event of the highest order. She is very much like a writer or poet who starts with a blank sheet of paper, bringing to life characters and places seemingly drawn from thin air. Of course, like the writer, Léandre's alchemy is born out of years of study, practice, and performance. From her roots in the south of France, she studied classical music before training and performing in the USA. She found her voice in contemporary music and the influence of John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi. Her peers became improvising musicians such as Derek Bailey, Barre Phillips, Anthony Braxton, Peter Kowald, and of course Irene Schweizer and Maggie Nicols in the trio Les Diaboliques. More recently, she can be heard in the excellent Tiger Trio with Myra Melford and Nicole Mitchell.

This solo performance from March 2022 at Kunstraum Walcheturm is an excellent example of her wealth of talents. The opening bowed energy production of "Zurich Concert 1" creates an arch of colors as vibrating sounds penetrate ones chest. Though the double bass is not a wind instrument, there is an impression Léandre is performing the equivalent of circular breathing throughout the performance. Her monster sound on the double bass has but one compeer, William Parker. Like Parker, Léandre builds indefatigable skyscrapers of sound. "Zurich Concert 2, 4, and 5" find her wordless vocal accompaniment. The final track is a tour de force in which the bassist combines an arco attack with a resonant tapping to create a complete orotund sound, one which could easily have been created in a volcano's caldera. It is that powerful."-Mark Corroto, All About Jazz

intak

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

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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 (https://www.joelle-leandre.com/biography/2/)
5/23/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Zurich Concert 1 6:40

2. Zurich Concert 2 6:10

3. Zurich Concert 3 7:10

4. Zurich Concert 4 8:26

5. Zurich Concert 5 13:00

Related Categories of Interest:


Intakt
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
Jazz
Stringed Instruments
Unusual Vocal Forms
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Intakt.


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