free jazz and free-form improvisation (or whatever pleases our ears for that matter)
Created in 1994, the duo of Joëlle Léandre and Pascal Contet was instantly praised both by the critics and the public for the strength, inventiveness and creativity of the two musicians on their first album, published by Concord/7 Media. 11 years later, Léandre and Contet met again in the studio to record their second CD for Clean Feed, Freeway, built on a series of twelve scenes.
Recorded live at Carré Bleu in Poitiers in 2012, the 2014 release of 3 celebrates the duo’s 20th anniversary, and again, their emancipated and “comprovised” chamber music (incorporating all boldness – microtonality , dissonance, polyphonies, … – but never indulging in a mere exhibition of technique and virtuosity) surprises us by tracing its path in the depth, intimacy and resources of a musical friendship where listening remains inexhaustible.
Since the release of Carrousel almost 2 years ago, whenever we went to listen to the trio of Théo, Valentin and Guillaume, we had the opportunity to discover an evolving repertoire, never trapped in the rarely exciting comfort of repetition. We happily welcomed the regular appearance of new forms and tunes, but also of new colors offered by Théo's taking on the viola and Guillaume switching to acoustic guitar at times.
So, as we began discussing a recording with the new material, when Théo offered to further expand the range of the trio by inviting the 4 strings of Joëlle Léandre to join their usual 14 and thus bringing with them numerous new possibilities for the music, we imagined the best. Today, the best is here: neither a welcome addition or a one-time meeting, but the sound and feeling of a real band. As far as we're concerned, listening to this music instantly puts a smile on our face. What about you?
Scott Fields is a leading guitarist and composer in avant-jazz and New Music. Jeffrey Lependorf is a composer of contemporary chamber music and opera. He is also a certified master of the shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute, and has helped create a new repertoire of music for this ancient instrument. In Everything is in the instructions, they perform new works for guitar and shakuhachi that combine written and improvised material. Don’t look for anything related to so-called ‘world music’ or some new agey concept here. This is the exciting combination of two major musical personalities, and definitely music for the 21st century, where sound, silence and structures are masterly entwined to create something entirely new and original.
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Founded in 2000 in Sweden by Jan Ström and Åke Bjurhamn, Ayler Records has gained recognition among free jazz fans over the years by releasing both archive and contemporary recordings from artists as diverse as Jimmy Lyons, Noah Howard, Peter Brötzmann, William Parker or Charles Gayle, as well as documenting the Scandinavian free jazz scene.
In 2009, Ayler Records moved to France where it is now operated by Stéphane Berland who had joined the label in 2005, bringing with him the will to open the catalogue to forms of improvised music in less direct relationship with the free jazz history, while remaining faithful to the original spirit.