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    All About Jazz, Eyal Hareuveni. October 2013

    This live documentation of an ad-hoc French free improvising quartet was done at the festival Jazz sous les bigaradiers at La Gaude near Nice in November 2012. The friendly atmosphere of the club So What as well as the warm reception of the audience inspired the quartet for this noisy, wild, poetic and free performance.

    The quartet is comprised of highly experienced free improvisers : reed players François Cotinaud— who collaborated before with saxophonist Steve Lacy, double bassist Joëlle Léandre and drummer Ramón López— and Emmanuelle Somer— who recorded with musicians from all over the globe, such as cellist Erik Friedlander, drummer Jim Black and sound sculptor Otomo Yoshihide ; innovative double bassist Barre Phillips ; and self-taught musician Henri Roger, who focuses here only on the piano. All four are well-versed in the demanding art of playing and creating in the moment, masters of extended techniques on their instruments and proficient in sculpting sounds into nuanced textures.

    The interaction is intense (even in its minimalist articulations) and free flowing from the first note till the last, but never aggressive or muscular. Nothing is obvious and there are no rules or any attempt to draw an easy-to-decipher musical structure, though there are obvious references to chamber jazz, free jazz and contemporary music. There is a bold and uncompromising focus on creating something new that can not be formulated into any conventions or recipes for future performances. A simple meeting of like-minded creative and inventive minds, playing with sounds, colors and feelings.

    The interplay is built patiently. At the first moments all four are exploring their own sonic possibilities within the quartet. But later they expand this delicate sonic envelope, even in its most spare or noisy parts of this performance, always sensitive to the others contributions, slowly solidifying their shared sensibilities and languages.

    Indeed, a wild and poetic free improvisation.
    Eyal Hareuveni.

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