Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dominique Pifarely Quartet, Trace Provisoire

Violinist Dominique Pifarely squares a round hole musically by conflating the improvised with the composed. You could say that jazz has always done that, and you'd be right. But of course there have always been greater or lesser degrees. On the Pifarely Quartet album Trace provisoire (ECM 2481) the distinction is not always very obvious and with the very vigorous interactions between Pifarely on violin, Antonin Rayon, piano, Bruno Chevillon on contrabass and Francois Merville on drums it makes for virtually endlessly engaging sounds.

This is a modern jazz composer's quartet, but it is also a player's quartet. For there is plenty going on no matter where you turn your ears. Head and solos? Sometimes that form is present, but never exactly in any formulaic way. The improvs often enough stem out from the compositions, for sure, extending a motif and developing the compositional seed into a full grown plant, so to speak. There are times when the principal "melody" or improv line is passed from player to player with very musically stimulating results. And there are various roles required of all four players.

This is deep and deeply atmospheric music that puts Dominique's violin often enough at the center of the sound, but then also allows for heightened interactivity between all four artists.

It's an album that never fails to connect audience, players and music. It is a modern quartet music that is exemplary and ever engaging. Bravo, then. Give this one your full attention and you will be rewarded in kind.

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