Michel Edelin Quartet | Resurgence | RogueArt Jazz

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Michel Edelin: flute, alto flute alto, bass flute | Jacques Di Donato: bass clarinet, soprano saxophone | Jean-Jacques Avenel: double bass | Simon Goubert: drums

Recorded by Laurent Codoul on May 26th and 27th 2011 at La Muse en Circuit, Alfortville, France. Mixing and mastering: Laurent Codoul. Liner notes: Bernard Aimé. Photographs: Michel Vonlanthen. Cover design: Max Schoendorff. Cover realization: David Bourguignon. Producer: Michel Dorbon

Booking contact: edelin.michel@wanadoo.fr

Tracklist: 1. Simon’s Bubbles (4:53) 2. Danse avec l’Ours (4:49) 3. Old and Beautiful Story (6:45) 4. Tristezza Della Diva (4:10) 5. Le Chat et la Souris (2:00) 6. Errance Carminée (6:18) 7. Jet Lag (5:50) 8. Tales of Seven Lizards (5:09) 9. Bailes de Tango (4:25) 10. Witches (4:18) 11. Black Snow (4:01)

Michel Edelin Quartet | Resurgence | rogueart jazz

Here is a group that is not mere circumstance

a group that has a sense of durability! Eighteen years after an already accomplished first recording**, the four musicians show in any case that the disorganized effects of commercial culture have no influence on an artistic desire newly reaffirmed in this gushing Resurgence, leaving eleven themes/sources drifting on its unique current linked in a distanced aesthetic which does not challenge the history of jazz but is known to be gaily unsubdued by current trends and to codes which guide a certain “European jazz”.

Here, the accent is put on the song, on melodic fluidity and rhythmic scansion, on the exactness of the narrative architecture, and one always keeps a respectful distance with large lyrical effusions and the emphatic expression of emotions. Michel Edelin, Jacques Di Donato, Jean-Jacques Avenel et Simon Goubert know how to calculate their phrases, sometimes as far as ellipse, they know how to delicately retie them, to proceed by allusions, sudden cuts, amused ruptures, leaps, tensions, parenthesis. One reaches an instant plenitude (“A line, a few summary vibrations, and everything becomes clear“, as Mallarme~ wrote) irresistibly seductive while, paradoxically, the improvisations flee the affected poetic-style and take a malicious pleasure in thwarting the discourse which, by the rhythm and range would ring too pure, too beautiful.

This musical matter is easily readable, also consistent and surprising in the limpidity of its certitudes, as if the four musicians were offering the listener the pleasures of smart intelligence and lending him what is necessary to enjoy it. Setting into movement the dormant water of this Resurgence amplifying this movement as far as its necessary flashes and penetrating explosions: this first of all requires an irreproachable text (Michel Edelin’s compositions, open forms indicating multiple directions), a large rhythmic freedom (keeping however a clearly admitted permanent pulsation) but more an open spirit and keen alertness of improvisers to serve a common project without abandoning as far as possible a part of their (strong) personality. So much so that one can hear to their best the flutist, the clarinetist/saxophonist, the double bassist and the drummer, so to say individually and collectively in this coincidence where the most expressive symptoms of sincerity naturally adjust themselves, in this prodigious fusion noted by Andre Hodeir to specify this music, where “the intensity of the moment and the depth of meditation” indicates “Jazz’s most beautiful claim to fame“. — Bernard Aime (Translation Marie Alleyrat)

* Deblocage d’Emergence, recorded live on April 1995 at Tours, at Le Petit Faucheux, and released on the label AA.


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One thought on “Michel Edelin Quartet | Resurgence | RogueArt Jazz

  1. French flutist Michel Edelin is back among familiar faces on Resurgence, after his appearance with fellow flutist Nicole Mitchell on The Ethiopian Princess Meets The Tantric Priest (Rouge Art, 2011). He reconstitutes the quartet which last appeared together on Déblocage D’émergence (AA Records, 1995) for a studio set of 11 of his smart originals. On bass Jean-Jacques Avenel demonstrates why he held tenure for such a long time with the late Steve Lacy, freed to join the frontline by drummer Simon Goubert’s purposeful time keeping. The final berth contains reedman Jacques Di Donato, a timbrally adventurous foil to the leader’s pure-toned stories.

    It’s a tight group which benefits from the lengthy shared experience, manifest in the confidence and exuberance with which they navigate Edelin’s imaginative modern mainstream arrangements. Edelin never wastes a note, elegantly furthering his narrative with each breath, often pitching himself against the group tempo to create a dynamic tension. The leader ‘s assured flute lines provide the solidity around which his bandmates orbit. That’s particularly the case with Avenel who takes a prominent contrapuntal role throughout, giving the set much of its character and interest, as Goubert takes care of business with his tuneful cadences.

    Even though there is a high degree of consistency, some cuts stand out. Foremost among them, “Jet Lag” features Avenel in melodic and rhythmically astute duet with both woodwinds, initially in cautious exchanges with Di Donato’s voice-like bass clarinet, then after an involved unison, in mellifluous consort with Edelin’s flute. Other highlights include “Errance Carminée” where a perky staccato theme, recalling the bassist’s erstwhile employer, carries over to imbue both solos and ensembles with a stuttering urgency, the knotty “Witches” where overlapping riffs distributed around the group underpin a magisterial flute excursion, and “Tristezza Della Diva” where a mournful air for Edelin and Di Donato’s clarinet leads to a disquieting colloquy of harmonics. On this showing, it would be a shame if we had to wait another 18 years before hearing more from this accomplished quartet.

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