Daunik Lazro | Jean-François Pauvros | Roger Turner | Curare | No Business Records

Daunik Lazro – baritone & alto sax | Jean-François Pauvros – electric guitars | Roger Turner – drums & percussion

All music by Lazro (SACEM), Pauvros (SACEM) and Turner (PRS). Tracks 1 and 2 recorded live at INSTANTS CHAVIRÉS (Montreuil) by Jean-Marc Foussat and Dominique Pauvros on 7th November 2008. Tracks 3 and 4 recorded live at festival JAZZ EN FRANCHE-COMTÉ (Besançon) by Jean-Marc Foussat on June 30th 2010. Edited and mixed by Jean-Marc Foussat. Mastered by Arūnas Zujus at MAMAstudios. Design by Oskaras Anosovas. Produced by Danas Mikailionis. Co-producer – Valerij Anosov

Tracklist Side A: 1. Morsure 2. White dirt 3. En nage Tracklist Side B: 1. En nage (continues) 2. The eye

Daunik Lazro

Daunik Lazro

The French saxophonist Daunik Lazro combines a tart, piercing tone with a quick mind and a flexible philosophy of music-making. His professional start was in bassist Saheb Sarbib’s orchestra, a relationship he maintained through most of the ’70s, which included three recordings. His first steps playing his own music involved a radical resizing of the cast on-stage, going from orchestra playing to solo saxophone concerts and duets. In the ’80s, he busily played with many on the European improvised music scene, including bassist Jean Jacques Avenel, cellist Tristan Honsinger, violinist Carlos Zingaro, drummer Christian Rollet, and saxophonist Evan Parker, among others. In the mid-’80s, Lazro expanded his partnerships to include dance and theater projects, including work with the Company of the Chance.

He formed a particularly fine trio in 1987 with fellow saxophonist Michel Doneda and the brilliant ppercussionistLê Quan Ninh, playing at many of the major European festivals and also touring in Canada. Duets with the American free improviser Joe McPhee are a 1991 discographical highlight, during a period when Lazro also began playing viola. In 1993, he started his own orchestra as well as a quartet called Outlaws in Jazz with Jac Berrocal, Didier Levallet, and Dennis Charles. In 1995, he toured Europe in a triple-threat combination with both McPhee and Parker, and the former artist also joined him in a quartet the following year with the superb British contrabassist Paul Rogers. In the late ’90s, he continued involvement with a series of orchestra projects, often as a guest soloist.Eugene Chadbourne

Jean-François Pauvros

Jean-François Pauvros

A guitarist with an inimitable technique is not entirely unknown on the New York scene. He has composed and played with musicians such as Elliot Sharp – Arto Lindsay – Jonathan Kane – Rhys Chatam… His taste for musical and human encounters, which lead him to form the most improbable and cosmopolitan groups’ can only find and maintain its unity when subtended by a style and an original and continuous inspiration. This is why, beyond his records and beyond his solo productions, he shares the risk of the “Corps et cordes” improvisation with Anne Dreyfus.

I can only play with anxious, feverish musicians in love.
J. F. Pauvros

Roger Turner | Photo by Gérard Rouy

Roger Turner | Photo by Gérard Rouy

Roger Turner

grew up amongst the canterbury musical life of the 1960’s with a strong jazz foundation. since 1974 work has been concentrated on exploring a more personal percussion language through the processes of improvisation. solo work, collaborations with experimental rock musics & open – form song, extensive work with dance, film and visual art, involvements in numerous jazz-based ensembles, & workshop residencies have formed part of that development. mostly, however, the pleasures & discoveries have been in music-making with many of the finest european & international musicians in ad-hoc & group improvising collaborations including alan silva, cecil taylor, henry grimes, derek bailey, evan parker, keith rowe, toshinori kondo, irene schweitzer, joelle leandre… tours & concerts have been throughout europe, australia, canada, u.s.a., mexico, china and japan, and have included such remote places as the arctic. working currently in konk pack ( with tim hodgkinson & thomas lehn), duo w/ annette peacock, the josef nadj dance project, the recedents ( with lol coxhill & mike cooper),the phil minton quartet, the trio with michel doneda and john russell, the duos with john russell, phil minton… numerous recordings…

Daunik Lazro | Jean-François Pauvros | Roger Turner | Photo by Gérard Rouy

Daunik Lazro | Jean-François Pauvros | Roger Turner | Photo by Gérard Rouy


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8 thoughts on “Daunik Lazro | Jean-François Pauvros | Roger Turner | Curare | No Business Records

  1. After just four years of activity, Lithuania’s No Business Records already boasts a catalogue of nearly 50 releases, ranging from the impressive to the essential, and this latest batch of No Business LPs continues the label’s practice of releasing the work of major players alongside less well-known improvisers. French alto and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro has performed and recorded frequently with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, and it’s no wonder that the two players have such an affinity for one another. Like McPhee, Lazro’s solo music is bred from wayfaring solitude (as the recent Ayler solo baritone CD Some other Zongs– see review below – attests), and it can bleed into his group work as well.

    Curare is a slightly different beast, presenting Lazro in a trio with Parisian guitarist Jean-François Pauvros and English percussionist Roger Turner on four collective improvisations. The opening “Morsure” builds from low, breathy pops and nattering cymbal work to bulldozing gestural swoops, Pauvros’ curling strums and charged obsessiveness stoking the fires in his mates’ lungs and forearms. “White Dirt” finds the guitarist coaxing queasy vocal wails by bowing the head and neck of his instrument, with baritone and feedback droning underneath while Turner builds pattering waves into localized explosions.

    Lazro seems to favour drummers (or, rather, musicians) who use a stripped-down approach to create monolithic tension – Turner’s seismic displacement is an extension of Sunny Murray and John Stevens, and Pauvros also directs simple actions into voluminous, garish areas.

    Switching to alto for the final piece, “The Eye”, Lazro emits high-pitched squeaks and crumpled calls over a latticework of shimmering electricity and delicate concentration, as warped glissandi and percussive churn build to an intense driving hum.

  2. Exceptional music that’s blazingly intense yet judiciously moderate, Curare, apparently named for the South American muscle-relaxant plant, captures sessions recorded almost two years apart from what in advanced music terms is a super group.

    All of its members have been plying their trade in this gene since the 1970s, French baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro with the likes of soprano saxophonist Michel Doneda and bassist Joëlle Léandre; fellow Gaul, guitarist Jean-François Pauvros with everyone from drummer Makoto Sato to harpist Hélène Breschand; and British percussionist Roger Turner with seemingly every advanced sound explore in the United Kingdom, North America and the Continent. Never before have they recorded in trio formation and the four tracks hang together so well because of another contradiction: each cooperates fully with the others, but no one alters his individual style.

    Consequently Pauvros’ sometimes amp-distorted approach that encompasses slurred fingering, neck and string hand taps, bowing on the string plus metallic twanging and trebly distortion, familiar from Rock-oriented sequences, makes common cause with Lazro’s extended reed techniques. Similarly the saxophonist’s tendency to expel bulky pedal-point snorts, pronounced altissimo cries and undulating split tones that characterize his solo reed explorations, suitably challenge the guitarist, who occasionally turns to slack-key and slurred fingering to make his points. Rational to an extreme, percussionist Turner, whose guitar and saxophone partners have ranged from John Russell to Mike Cooper on the string side and Lol Coxhill to Doneda among the reedists, takes the others’ fervent outpourings in stride – or actually measure. As they distort textures with crackling amp buzzes or rend the air with screams at dog-whistle pitches, he placidly pops and clacks his cymbals, rubs and saws on his rims and drum tops, and generally supplements and escorts tones into appropriate connections.

    The most extensive instance of the trio’s concordance is on the nearly 19-minute “En Nage”, which precedes the surprisingly lyrical conclusion that is “The Eye”. On “En Nage”, juddering crunches from Pauvros detonate in staccatissimo time as Lazro’s vibrating blats turn to reed mastication and renal grunts. As the front men jockey in sequence, exposing narrowed and tightened multiphonics from the saxophonist plus disconnected waves of flanged twangs from the guitarist, Turner shouts encouragement. More importantly he also manipulates cymbal crashes, rim shot clatters and bass drum thumps to underline their parts and fit the improvising into broken-octave patterns.

    Anything but a muscle relaxing, the Rx prescribed by this musical team provides appropriate sonic exhilaration.

  3. The program of this release may be shaped around two pairs of tracks from different performances — respectively, at Montreuil’s Instants Chavirés (2008) and Besançon’s Jazz En Franche-Comté (2010) — but the essential suggestion materializing across the 48 minutes of Curare is that of a trio whose purpose resides in filling the interstices between “vibrant connection” and “approximation of stillness”. All the textures identify an interplay that sounds surreptitious, occasionally out-breaking, always refreshing.

    Jean-François Pauvros is perhaps the most perceivable instrumental voice in this particular framework. The guitar irradiates the baffling tints to which Daunik Lazro’s baritone and tenor saxophone relates in creating non-serene, almost presageful correspondences. From states of somewhat worrying tranquility they overlay electric surges, bizarre animal utterances, gentle string-slides à la Frith and animated-yet-controlled reed bursts. They frequently join the lower ends of their palettes with stretches that would be considered positively even by certain drone zealots (check the mixture of thrilling roar and Coltrane-ian invocations in “The Eye”). When the waters are calmer, we can appraise the tasteful sensibility of Roger Turner’s work as he underlines, inspects and pinpoints, never losing his grip on what his French comrades are fabricating. The percussionist offers a performance of such a cultured refinement that it risks being overlooked among the music’s more evident traits. Yet the man’s command of the subtleties of a drum set in an improvisational context is a treat for specialist ears.

    The whole is probably too “obscure” — for lack of a better word — and intelligently devised to be included in the current era’s top ranks. However, if you don’t believe the hype, this is a testimonial of significant insight by three unsung artists hiding brightness behind a veil of discretion.

  4. The outside edges of improvisation and jazz continue to exist and thrive all over the world. The message of Ayler, Trane, Ornette and Cecil has spread and been adapted over the years into subsets of common vocabulary which could be divided into a number of schools. I wont set about doing that systematically this morning because in part my time is limited, but I will say that the recent release Curare (No Business 38) loosely and effectively makes music that comes out of the sound-as-sound quasi-new music camp.

    It’s a trio of Daunik Lazro on baritone and alto saxes, Jean-Francois Pauvros on electric guitar, and Roger Turner on drums & percussion. They wind their way through a series of four improvisations notable for the sound textures and colors evoked. All three rely on conventional and unconventional sound production techniques, quite inventively so.

    The music that results is a panorama of interactive acoustic sound layering. They work within a pattern of sound and silence less pointilistic than more-or-less continuous.

    I remember years ago a review in Downbeat gave the ESP release of the European Free Music 1 & 2 album the rating of four stars/one star. Now that of course was the reviewer’s equivalent of throwing up his hands, saying, “how can you evaluate this avant stuff?” Well of course you can and must. Curare succeeds in what it sets out to do. It follows an aesthetic through in ways that show a feel for sounds and the idea that variety and interest, interaction and simultaneous sound composition can be done well or less-so. Curare does it well. The fact that some people may not understand the music or may even come to hate it is not our business. The problem is theirs.

    So set sail with this one to one of the avant colonies newly settled. You’ll feel at home if you allow yourself an open stance towards it all.

  5. Silence could be the fourth member of the group responsible for the cooperatively derived Curare, joining the French pairing of reed supremo Daunik Lazro and guitarist Jean-Francois Pauvros with English drummer Roger Turner. As the four cuts are sourced from two live dates some 20 months apart, this cross-Channel aggregation is clearly not a one-off. Lazro may still be best known for his collaborations with fellow reedmen Joe McPhee and Evan Parker, but over a thirty-plus year career he has amassed a substantive discography, to which this is a striking addition.

    In spite of the restraint it’s not quite lower case improv, as there is too much edge and forward motion despite the lack of melody or steady tempo. Sounds can be largely traced back to their instrumental source. Ultimately the listening experience depends upon the skills and abilities of the participants in sound placement, weight, dynamics and responsiveness. In this regard, it is telling that Lazro and Turner in particular are old hands at this sort of on the fly abstract invention. Pauvros who comes from an avant rock background, by way of association with guitarist Elliott Sharp (he has one track on the Sharp-curated I Never Meta Guitar (Clean Feed, 2010)), nonetheless fits in well.

    No one voice dominates. In Lazro’s hands, the unwieldy baritone saxophone becomes a vehicle for delicate expression, ranging from the merest whispers and squeaks to throaty croaks and anguished cries. Turner taps, scrapes and thwacks with restrained abandon, while Pauvros’ specialty involves taking a bow to his guitar to create subterranean swells and mellifluous rubato, as well as more angular Morse code crackles. Only on the closing “The Eye” do they stray near the jazz vernacular as the reedman’s alto saxophone turns almost lyrical over a ticking pulse and sheets of layered guitar. It’s all artfully done with a variety of unconventional timbres, which don’t repeat and convince as a conversation conducted in an unknown but recognizably coherent tongue with its own grammar and logic.

  6. Curare : un titre qui charrie bien des images, des connotations plus ou moins létales, sombres, insidieuses. Un trio sax baryton (Daunik Lazro), guitare (Jean-François Pauvros), batterie (Roger Turner) : une lutherie classique (si on omet les quelques pédales de la guitare).

    Une musique à l’abord quasi bruitiste, nous menant d’éclosions erratiques de bulles à des éraillements métalliques. Une musique jouant sur les intensités, mais n’oubliant que rarement la retenue lors de la première pièce au titre étrange : Morsure. Manière de nous saisir, de blesser nos habitudes, mais juste un peu, comme pour témoigner de la puissance latente.

    Même retenue sur le 2e titre : White Dirt. Murmures égratignés et déploiement progressif de puissance, de chocs, de grincements, de complexité sonore, d’éboulements, de chaos. Mais rien de linéaire. Après une accalmie relative, nouvelles efflorescences sonores, d’abord friselis devenant grondements, stridences, projections de limailles, de scories, une lave puissante qui pourtant se maîtrise, s’adoucit, se fait étranglements, chuchotements.

    Changement de lieu, près de vingt mois plus tard. Une pièce longue (près de 19 mn) : En nage. Une première partie sous l’influence des cordes et de leurs vibrations plus ou moins amples, puis un discours puissant aux stratifications sonores multiples au baryton, retour sombre de la guitare, re-baryton ou plus probablement de la partie haute de l’instrument (le bocal ?), sous des roulements, des crépitements de plus en plus convulsifs des peaux, des éclats de cymbales. Grande accalmie à mi-parcours, avec des notes soutenues au baryton, aux textures complexes, une guitare frottée en arrière plan, quasi nostalgique. Savant dosage de discours ténus et de chocs abrupts. Une progression de l’intensité, de la rugosité des matières, des roulements rocailleux devenant quasi paroxistiques … pour revenir encore à la retenue, à la sérénité.

    Mention spéciale pour la dernière pièce, la plus lyrique : The eye. Des cornes de brume, des décrescendos de météores : la fascination de l’ailleurs. Puis une sonorité inhabituelle au sax baryton. En fait un chant pourtant bien connu, lointain déjà, celui d’un Coltrane mystique, une forme d’incantation entrelardée de clusters à la guitare, de roulements furieux sur les peaux. Retour aux murmures. Des craquements percussifs à la guitare, l’ébauche d’une mélodie d’autres temps, d’autres lieux et le silence.

    Je reste toujours naïvement stupéfait qu’un tel traitement de la matière sonore procure un plaisir musical aussi intense. De purs créateurs. Un trio d’exception !

    Au sommet de leur art ? C’est bien l’impression à l’écoute du disque … démentie par leur concert au Triton début 2012 : une musique encore plus épanouie, plus complexe, comme soumise à une poussée tectonique inéluctable. On y reviendra sûrement.

    Un disque remarquable de Nobusiness Records (ça ne s’invente pas), un label de Lituanie (NBCD 38 ou NBLP43, CD ou LP). Déjà un must 2012.

  7. Sur le papier – et pour peu qu’on ait écouté, ces dernières décennies, les travaux respectifs de Daunik Lazro, Jean-François Pauvros et Roger Turner – pareil attelage est diablement prometteur… Et l’auditeur déjà se met à désirer, échafauder, si ce n’est planifier ses scénarios : énergie rock et décharges soniques… C’est aller trop vite, car sur scène puis au disque (vinyle ou compact), c’est mieux encore, et au-delà du power trio fantasmé – pas plus de Lazro en sax macho, que de Pauvros en musculeux du manche, ou de Turner cogneur.

    Ainsi à l’automne 2008, devant le public des Instants Chavirés, découpe-t-on des mobiles de tôle [Morsure, White Dirt], cherchant avec une patience tendue agencements et émergences (mais point encore les derniers outrages – Pauvros s’y connaît) : de la limaille, des copeaux, une mise en forme des plaques par chaudronnerie expérimentale, jusqu’au chant des métaux, à force de ferrailler.

    A Besançon, fin juin 2010 [En Nage, The Eye], l’affaire prend un tour plus direct et presque poisseux. À larges traînées de fraiseuse baryton, tandis que de part et d’autre on s’active au pied-de-biche, une fois les lames du plancher soulevées, on dégage, on pousse et fait monter une pâte à échardes qui se met à circuler, lyrique et bien bandée.

    Un disque formidable.

  8. This collective trio, consisting of Daunik Lazro on baritone and alto saxophones, Jean-Francois Pauvros on guitar and Roger Turner on drums & percussion creates a wide variety of interesting soundscapes that test the boundaries of improvised music on this album, which brings together selections from two live concerts. “Morsure” opens the album with atmospheric low moans, scrapes and clanks. Escalating guitar and drums develop a chaotic maelstrom. There is a dynamic downturn to open percussion and an ominous feeling. Saxophone screeches are overblown with fear and angst. Brief probing honks percolate with slow and spare texture buzzing and scraping in “White Dirt.” Sounds bubble up and fade out like in a dream, where saxophone groans against a rusting industrial backdrop as if fighting to stave off entropy and decay.

    The music builds to paranoid screams, insular and foreboding. “En Nage” develops boinging and twanging guitar and scraping percussion which become a very cool sounding reverberating against themselves, playing sound off against silence. Raw saxophone enters, punctuating with guttural shrieks, like a branding iron stamping it’s mark on the music. Nasal alto saxophone swirls and cries like a lonely infant, engaging the percussion storm of crashing cymbals. Shifting to a low buzz, Lazro moves back to baritone and Pauvros tries to peel back layers of the music with ringing guitar. Background radiation builds like a coming solar storm, and saxophone shrieks around shy bass bullying, braying before finally moving the enveloping cacophony to exhausted finish.

    “The Eye” concludes the album with approptiately ominous guitar textures panning the scenery like the Eye of Sauron. Controlled baritone saxophone moves through the backdrop before switching to pinched sounding alto grappling for footing. Faster the music moves into a whirlwind of sound, drums thrashing and saxophone wailing. Soon, the battle is over and quiet saxophone forms poping sounds and swirls of air, scraping & rattling amongst the quiet.

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