Joëlle Léandre & Nicole Mitchell | Sisters Where | RogueArt Jazz

Neither one nor the other has a role to play: Joelle and Nicole are there to invent. One would be nothing but softness, the other nothing but force? But here it is that the first flies off in full force and the other accompanies all in softness. Perfectly pitched. Total improvisation. Musical dance on the jazzistic fields flying carpet. If needs be, they invent each other forming that double woman who has fear of nothing, who does not retreat in the face of any joke any savagery any melancholy any beauty any liberty. Now and again the strings have breath and the flute vibrates. What is there of intentional, of prepared, of established by tacit convention? Nothing or next to nothing, who cares: these two virtuosos have nothing to do with their virtuosity if not to put it to the service of quivering developments. — François-René Simon, excerpt from liner notes Continue reading

Rob Mazurek Exploding Star Orchestra | Matter Anti-Matter | RogueArt Jazz

Out of the 63 or 67 satellites around Jupiter, fifty or more of them were discovered since the year 2000 (since the “elections” of George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, since the busting of the Internet bubble and the market launch of the first USB key: it’s all a question of scale, right?). We are told their orbits are far apart, eccentric, inclined and retrograde. That they do as they please, heads in the clouds, that they dance. It’s your turn to dance. You understand you are a moon in all its phases simultaneously. Let me say that again. Anybody can be the root, says Roscoe Mitchell. Everything is seed, says Novalis. Ascension Dream Phoenix, says Rob Mazurek. A feast. — Alexandre Pierrepont (translation Romain Tesler) Continue reading

Nicole Mitchell | Engraved in the Wind | RogueArt Jazz

This recording is a virtuosic tour-de-force. The technical achievement of this music stands on its own and defines Nicole Mitchell as an innovator and expressive artist with a depth of mastery that surpasses even that which we already know about her. Consider the exacting precision of every sound made here, the multi-phonics, the sustain and variation of pitch, the rhythmic phrasing, the sheer beauty of the intonation, the arch and fluid execution of every phrase regardless of the velocity or density of notes, and the. tremendous and complex variety of timbre, articulation, and variation of groove. All of these elements make Engraved in the Wind a masterful work of solo music, a great achievement for Nicole Mitchell and a deeply rewarding listening experience for the rest of us. — Joe Morris, November 2012 Continue reading

Denis Fournier | Nicole Mitchell | Hanah Jon Taylor | Tomeka Reid | Bernard Santacruz | Watershed | RogueArt Jazz

If the three compositions proposed by Denis Fournier have already been recorded, they merit to be here as resurgences, like scenarios encouraging the freedom of transformation without which free interpretation is nothing. “I often say that I don’t make improvised music, but that I improvise music. In other words, I put together there and then elements of my life, of my history, of my culture…” In other words, no structure commands the action. Every structure opens to the action (to sharing) which redefines it. On their side, Nicole Mitchell and Tomeka Reid propose, one a musical treasure trail (Pathways), in phases and superposed phrases, the other a lament which is also a homage (Prayer for Wadud), beginning solemnly, elevatory, but dispersing like the cellist Abdul Wadud who still lives isolated from the world. Because if the album starts briskly, it finishes through several series of halos – once reaching Prayer for Wadud and La Voce de la Luna which takes its name and its indolence from Federico Fellini’s last film, itself inspired by a book by Ermanno Cavazzoni entitled Il Poema dei lunatic – The Lunatics Poem…Or how to show that things and beings are never what they appear to be, never only, never complete without the imagination which completes them and glorifies them. — Alexandre Pierrepont, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

Roscoe Mitchell | Nicole Mitchell | Black Earth Ensemble| Three Compositions | Live at Sant’Anna Arresi | RogueArt Jazz

Despite the compositions’ respective demands Nicole Mitchell and Black Earth Ensemble fully and vividly represented Roscoe Mitchell’s varied means of creating chemistry between written and improvised materials. At every turn in the program, they played with a palpable sense of familiarity and ease with the composer’s vernacular and methods. They sounded like they’ve been playing this music every night for a long time. — Bill Shoemaker, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

Didier Petit | Alexandre Pierrepont | Passages – A Road Record – Woodstock – New York – Chicago – Los Angeles | RougeArt Jazz

Lawrence Butch Morris developed the concept of “conduction” to account for a mode of Instant Composition based on the creative freedom of the players stimulated by the gestures of a central conductor. AP/DP, with this cd, invent the practice of musical transduction. Just like the French language is not “translated” but transducted into Kamau Daáood’s unique prosody, DP’s cello does not “translate” the playing of a thumb piano, an oud or a kora: all of these instruments, all of their phrasings electrify his playing from the inside, they are transducted into the cello. Similarly, DP’s vocal cords do not “translate” what his fingers perform on the strings: both are electrified by a common current, alternating and direct. The astonishing fluidity of this complex meshwork of influences qualifies AP/DP as “Super-transductors”: through this cd, one hears not only a whole family of giant cello players (Abdul Wadud, Robert Een, Tom Cora, Ernst Reijseger, Peggy Lee, Hank Roberts), but also a long history of lyrical surrealism (from Lautréamont to Henri Michaux), and the widest range of traditions in ethnomusicology (from Africa to the Middle East, through classical Europe and Amerindian singing)… …Be prepared to be transducted, transformed and elated. — Yves Citton, excerpt from the liner notes Continue reading

Hamid Drake & Bindu | Bindu | RogueArt Jazz

Who could have imagined that Hamid Drake would wait such a long time before giving life to his first band – as a leader that is? As one of the most important drummers in Afro-American music’s History, Drake is the guide to many musicians the world over while his rich, thorough, eclectic and fully controlled playing is used as the backbone to many orchestras. For ages, his numerous duets gave us a clear view of his music skills but this first recording as the leader of Bindu allows Hamid Drake the necessary space to fully display at last his own brilliant and original expression. No matter how unusual the orchestra is (four reeds and a drum), we really are confronted here with a great band. Who else than Hamid Drake would have dared to pick such strong personalities as Ernest Dawkins and Greg Ward from Chicago, Daniel Carter and Sabir Mateen from New York, with no other goal and challenge than a meeting of pioneers willing to break new grounds? And what more beautiful introduction to this musical structure could be made than this duet with Nicole Mitchell and her refined, sparkling playing? It won’t be difficult, in these circumstances, to forgive Hamid Drake for having taken his time so long before leading such a group. Hamid Drake, we thank you for honoring us with that perfect Rogue Art opening. Continue reading