Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Jean-Marc Foussat, Emmanuelle Parrenin, Quentin Rollet, Haut-Coeur


I have appreciated for a long while the electronic and acoustic improvisational inventions of Jean-Marc Foussat and friends. There is a recent one he kindly sent me and I have been appreciating it. It is his electronics, voice and sounding of toys along with Emmanuelle Parrenin on hurdy-gurdy and voice, and Quentin Rollet on alto and sopranino saxes and small electronics. The album is entitled Haut-Coeur (Fou Records  FRCD 42).

The program presents a magical series of soundscapes  that majestically blend the three improvisers into some remarkably poetic sequences, with drones and thickening bands of  sound that do not seem like typical electroacoustic improv these days, but instead plummet the aural depths of possibility with a pronounced abstract narrative more long-toned than pointillistic.

In all this Foussat and company bring us a kind of epic presence which in its own way furthers the High Modernist improvs of electroacoustic masters of the '50s and beyond, the pioneering Musica Electronica Viva, AMM, the improv groups of Stockhausen in that fruitful phase of his music,  and Il Gruppo. In their own way the trio here, and Foussat in a remarkable series of electroacoustic records for his Fou label, all carry and extend the assumptions of the earlier groups, to improvise in ways somewhere straddled beyond Avant Jazz and New Music concert stylings. But then again the first and then the final drone section have a more cosmic ring to them than some of those early Improv-Electroacoustic sides, excepting Il Gruppo on some wonderful moments. But it is only natural that we should hear further evolution happening as we go along. Foussat remains a central force in it all today.

Do not fail to give this one your full attention. Bravo!

David Haney, Circadian World Clock, with Bernard Purdie


David Haney is an Avant Jazz pianist who has gone his own articulate way over the years and is not afraid to strike out boldly on his own path, neither quite following a splatter all-over of a Cecil Taylor or a post-Ornette-fielding of a post-Bop swinging of a Paul Bley.

The album Circadian World Clock (Big Round BR8970) comes out of the experience of the Pandemic and the kind of global feeling of togetherness in temporal isolation that is and has been a peculiar and unprecedented feeling we all share, we who are still increasingly experiencing world simultaneity in the digital toposphere these days. The temporal and audio periodic structure of this album follows a unique set of specifics. David requested from a wide array of world musical artists a short field recording from a particular time of day.within the realm of the ritual temporal sequences of traditional church worship cycles.

To each of these times comes a short field recording from various parts of the world, so there may be a traditional music from for example India, or perhaps an outdoor recording of everyday urban or natural sounds. A set of such sounds in a time sequence are chosen and played as backdrops for a particular live ensemble to improvise over. Each ensemble consists of Haney at the piano playing in traditional or extended manner with Bernard Purdy at the drums and one or more additional ensemble players, with the max including a four-piece brass-wind quartet and an auxiliary percussionist. 

The musical response ranges from ultra-Free to harmonic-melodic concordance or motif contrasting. The music and soundscape elements continually fascinate and center around Haney's remarkable inventions on piano and the always fascinating sound colors of the ever evolving whole. Purdy manages to play Free without channeling Sunny Murray or Rashid Ali, and so interestingly holds forth here at times in ways that cast a spell over your ears.
None of this is expected exactly, nor is it matter-of-fact. So one delves into many listens and if like me continually finds much to ponder and grow with. Bravo!