Marc Ducret - Tower, vol.1


According to composer and guitarist Marc Ducret words music on this album is inspired by Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The story takes place on a fictional planet called Antiterra, where the use of electricity, as well as talking about it was prohibited by law, unlike Ducret, freely uses its benefits. His playing has always been strongly marked by the influences of rock, funk, bebop and unorthodox use of technical facilities of guitar, invariably is here.

Even if you see on Tower vol. 1 some musical similarities to the Tim Berne's recordings, stylistics which in my opinion was in some way also influenced by collaboration with Ducret, though it's sonic sphere seems to be a novelty. This quintet makes impression of a mini big band. This effect can be achieved on the basis of physical characteristics of sound of each used instrument, but above all due to the excellent arrangements.

Guitarist chose for his quintet an excellent musicians, strong personalities. Quite phenomenal hit was use of the bass saxophone, which in addition to its traditional role, plays as bass in a rhythm section. Frédéric Gastard's performance, gives dynamics and color to the quintet's music. This multi-instrumentalist shows here his impressive technique and skills great sensitivity and culture in using electronics to manipulate the sound of his unusual instrument. In trombonist Matthias Mahler playing you can hear his experiences in chamber and symphonic, and above all performing improvised music.

Marc Ducret for many years is in contact with the Danish jazz scene. His travels to Copenhagen fructified with recordings with bands such as the Copenhagen Art Ensemble which member is trumpeter Kasper Tranberg. In his performance here showing his bright tone, linear sound without excessive ornamentation, he's also familiar with muted growls, like Mahler coloristically uses plunger. All brass, also through the use of extended techniques perfectly associate with guitarist's changes of sounds, textures and dynamics.

Rhythmic element here is highly important. Appearing on the album, drummer Peter Bruun is one of the most peculiar musicians that emerge in a recent years, not only in Copenhagen, but on the world's scope. Technically experienced, has an amazing imagination, and his playing is as full of flexibility and sensitivity to the nuances of the instrument's sound. Moving with an exceptional freedom on a drum kit, in my opinion explores and redefines the way it is and might be used. His sections with densely playing Gastard and funky Ducret are fascinating. Like others, remains in a grip of a band interaction, follows guitar and brass phrases, while not stifling self-expression creates multi-threaded narrative forms within stretched in time compositions.

For me, each new group is a completely different experience, in which the interplay between musicians allows the emergence of what I had not planned, not foreseen. Much more than chops, technical skills, or the ability to play this or that style of music, what's important is the moment when everybody looses control and becomes conscious of the sound of the whole band, of what playing this music here and now means. Practicing, writing music, rehearsing are only preparatory rites to those moments when you find yourself playing what you didn't know you could play. - Marc Ducret

Like in the title of the novel Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, in the music of this quintet certainly is not missing "heat" or "zeal". Apparently, Nabokov was an avid collector of butterflies,was especially fond of one species with yellow wings and a black body. He associated colors with each letter; A was connected to yellow, and D to black. Thus he saw a reflection of his favorite butterfly (yellow-black-yellow) in the name Ada. Without getting into the discussion at the meeting point of linguistics and lepidopterology Marc Ducret composing this music reached not only unprecedented color effect. Exquisite record!