free jazz and free-form improvisation (or whatever pleases our ears for that matter)
With his previous outing on Ayler Records (the 2012 solo SelfCooking – actually a highly overdubbed multitrack offering), Matthieu Metzger had given us a preview of his peculiar mindset when it comes to musical ideas. Now taking advantage of the versatile trio format, he’s back with a vengeance with Killing Spree!
With the help of bassist Sylvain Daniel’s science of sound and pyrotechnic drummer Gregoire Galichet’s virtuosity, he once again puts his saxophones and machines on the front line to offer us a highly energetic effort they describe as an alloy of contemporary writing, jazz, improv and metal. Molten, as it should be.
Alexandra Grimal goes in her own way, elegant but robust, through the territories of jazz and improvised music over recent years. It was only natural she would meet and regularly play in duet settings with Giovanni di Domenico, as versatile an adventurer as Alexandra is, both in his musical choices and collaborations. Three years after their first recording together (2011's Ghibli on the Sans Bruit label), Chergui was recorded over two nights at the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris, France) and showcases solos and duets, either based on Giovanni's compositions or improvised on the spot to catch the emotion of the moment.
The 12-piece-band live recordings of the complete Tower 'repertoire', from two concerts during the 2012 tour, gathering all musicians from the 4 volumes of the Tower cycle (see vol. 1, vol.2, vol.3 and vol.4 for the whole story) on one stage. Complete with 2 booklets and access to exclusive video content: Tower in the Mist, a film by Sylvain Lemaire.
Limited edition of 1000.
An atypical ensemble which brings together Roberto Negro on piano, Théo Ceccaldi on violin and viola, Valentin Ceccaldi on cello and Adrien Chennebaut on drums and percussion, La Scala was born nearly two years ago as a result of a commission for a theatrical production.
The idea here, though, is not so much theatre as ascension (« La Scala » meaning the ladder or the stairway in Italian), a vertiginous pathway through a spiral staircase, a paper stairway, a stepladder, an ever unpredictable rope ladder, used by a sure-footed four-man roped party with a constant ear to each other’s movements. A compact formation, La Scala forges ahead, straight to the core, to the top.
In this programme of original music mixing improvisation and composition, navigating between tormented contemplation and explosive lyricism, the music unabashedly allows itself to be at turns minimalistic, crazy, improbable, festive or unbridled. It’s as if Bartok, Schoenberg or Stockhausen had tried their hand at blues, bop, free jazz or even rock, yet still intensely sculpting the sonic texture while letting a sense of humour sneak in.
There is no elevator to La Scala - one must climb up there by their own means, and fearlessly embark on this musical adventure.
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.
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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.