Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Francois Tusques, Itaru Oki, Claude Parle & Isabel Juanpera, Le Chant du Jubjub

From across the pond today we catch up with a most adventurous release from the ever intrepid Improvising Beings label, namely Le Chant du Jubjub (IB 43) featuring free jazz piano vet Francois Tusques, trumpet master Itaru Oki, accordionist Claude Parle and vocalist/recitationist Isabel Juanpera. It is the sort of set that is not easy classified, and all the better for it.

There are expressively free duos and trios that bring out the musical personalities of the instrumentalists, there are poetic recitations and quasi-sprechstimme passages that bring Ms. Juanpera into the spotlight, and there are structural, composed elements that owe their existence to Francois' special sensibilities.

Everyone sounds quite well: Tusques is in good form as his very unique pianistic self, Parle sounds a noteful and folk-energetic counterpart to Tusques in quite interesting and very varied ways, Oki plays an informed and creative role as the third voice and Juanpara makes dramatically audible Tusques' narratives with clear relief.

What makes this date so unusual is the unpredictability of it all. Francois comes through with ostinatos, deep harmonic structures, or sustained onslaughts of notefulness that mark him as invariably himself; Parle ever an inventive foil to the Tusques piano; Oki a sensitive earful of well chosen smears, runs and timbres; Juanpera a musical-verbal game changer.

Le Chant du Jubjub revels in the unexpected. It is one of the more original free sessions to be heard out there right now. It is most worthy of your time. Kudos for Tusques and company!

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