Monday, March 6, 2017

Jean-Brice Godet, Lignes De Cretes

The convergence of new music and avant jazz continues, with labels like Clean Feed giving us a wealth of music that manages successfully and engagingly to bridge a divide that once seemed hard to surmount. (But of course we should not forget the exceptional work of AACM artists in this zone.) Today we have another very effective example from Jean-Brice Godet on clarinets, radio and dictaphone. He heads a trio for a wide-ranging breach of everyday categories. The album is called Lignes De Cretes (Clean Feed CF406CD).

Pascal Niggenkemper joins Godet on doublebass and objects; the trio is made complete with the presence of Sylvain Darrifourcq on drums, percussion and zither.

There is movement and development going on throughout, beginning with "No Border," with concrete and enhanced sounds that begin sparsely and ambiantly, then traverse gradually into expressively free territory with some wailing clarinet, arco bass and a wash of tone-noise of unspecified provenence. Sylvain enters with a series of irregular tatoos and we are off to parts unknown. The segment continues on with the periodistic insistence and regular-irregularity of free jazz, then segues into "No Logo" with a three-way contrapuntal dialog of clarinet, bass and drums which has even more jazz-speech inflections than what we have heard in the opening.

"No God" opens up the space further with some ruminating drum statements and ambient noises--jagged stutters that open another sound world that tumbles forward into our listening minds. Godet's incantatory clarinet emerges with some performative testifying while Niggenkemper's prepared bowing and Sylvain's drumming fall into the expressive zone once again. It continues in free roll while the bass punctuates more emphatically with pizzicato pluck-shouting. Clarinet and drums respond with their own soul calls, earthy epithets and emotive figurations. Things eventually grow quiet and end in some bluesy phrasings.

"No Fear" begins in silence, then creates a ritualized series of overlapping sequences on an altered zither, bass clarnet long tones, and arpeggiating pizzo-harmonics. It channels yet another intriguing aural space into our listening selves.

And so it goes, a fascinating set on an inspired night. This is music you  need to allow into your head. It needs you to actively collaborate with it in order to make its expression clear. But then it rewards with something worthwhile, border-crossings that we do not want to prevent by building a wall. No wall!!


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