All Souffle Continu Records reissues of Perception's three LPs originally released in 1971-1973 are now available in a speciale bundle. This includes: Perception (1971), Perception & Friends (1973) and Mestari (1973).
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever vinyl reissue of Perception's self-titled album, originally released in 1971. The story of Perception takes root in a series of chance meetings, which seem at first glance unlikely, between musicians from differing horizons, be they geographic or esthetic. Jazz Magazine was spot on with an article from the period entitled, "Perception, four conceptions", before detailing the origins of the musicians (Hungarian for saxophonist Yochk'O Seffer, German for pianist Siegfried Kessler, French for bassist Didier Levallet, Franco-Vietnamese for drummer Jean-My Truong). It then looked at their varying backgrounds (classical academic training for the first two, an improvised apprenticeship on the jazz scene for the third), in order to point out the seemingly contradictory and perhaps complementary directions which would unite in a singular identity.
None of this, however, was clear from the start as the group began as a trio with a different saxophonist, before stabilizing to the first core quartet. Having been remarked on in 1970 by Gérard Terronès, who was already producer of the cult Alors!!! (Michel Portal), Célesphère (Burton Greene), and Basse Barre (Barre Phillips), Perception was thus given a timely opportunity to record their first album on his Futura Records label.
This eponymous opus, illustrated with a drawing by Yochk'O Seffer, is the first of a fascinating trilogy. It puts the seal on those complementary contradictions with a lyrically incandescent free jazz, made up of startling interactions between complex harmonies and disjointed rhythms.
Licensed from Futura / Marge. Remastered from the master tapes. Includes four-page booklet with unpublished photos and an essay by Didier Levallet.
Perception & Friends (1973)
Souffle Continu Records present the first ever vinyl reissue of Perception & Friends, originally released in 1973. After their first album which came out in 1971 on Futura Records (FFL 051LP), Perception wanted to rapidly record a second, but Gérard Terronès did not want to produce another, especially so soon after the first. Therefore, the only solution was to produce it themselves. It is thus completely logical that it came out on the label of the Association for the Development of Improvised Music (A.D.M.I.) created by Didier Levallet with the aim of promoting creative music (on this subject, this was the same label that also produced the excellent Inter Fréquences (FFL 031LP) by the Free Jazz Workshop).
As the album was entirely created from A-to-Z by Perception, they decided on a more ambitious project, exploring a wider palette of colors by augmenting the original quartet with additional instruments. So, it was with numerous guests including Teddy Lasry, Jean-Charles Capon, Kent Carter, and Jean-François Jenny-Clark, that Perception developed still further the apparently contradictory directions which were their specificity. This is further highlighted by the fact that Siegfried Kessler, largely absent on this recording, is temporarily replaced by Manuel Villaroel, a pianist from Chile with a completely different temperament (and, by-the-by, already the name behind the superb Terremoto with the Matchi-oul Septet).
Contrary to the first album, which seems in comparison much more compact and united, this second (and second-to last, not counting the live recordings), with the many different options proposed, would seem to predict the different directions that musicians from Perception would subsequently take.
One track, by Yochk'O Seffer, who had already been part of Magma two years previously, looks forward to the more structured Neffesh Music, whilst, in the opposite direction, another track, by Didier Levallet, is more evocative of the future arrangements on Swing Strings System (1978).
It is, to sum up, a nice paradox that all these different elements, from tightly written pieces to wild improvisation, work so well together and are one the key attributes of a group free like few others. Licensed by Perception. Remastered from the master tapes. Includes four-page booklet with unpublished photos and an essay by Didier Levallet.
Souffle Continu Records present the first time vinyl reissue of Perception's Mestari, originally released in 1973. To finally become oneself: that was the lesson, in the 1960-1970s, that European musicians attracted to improvisation had learned from American free-jazz. Following this idea, the musicians of Perception, whilst individually accompanying Mal Waldron, Slide Hampton, Johnny Griffin, or Hank Mobley when they played in Paris, decided early on to break free from what was going on across the Atlantic and seek their own authenticity.
When Mestari, their third and final album, came out, Yochk'O Seffer, Siegfried Kessler, Didier Levallet, and Jean-My Truong had four years of questing and originality behind them developing their own individual language. A language in which the spontaneity of the improvisations did not exclude influences taken from European folk or classical traditions. Balanced, ethereal, and structured, Mestari was a return to the original core quartet; the previous album included numerous guest musicians. It opens infinite perspectives and is totally in phase with what was being produced in France at the same time by Cohelmec Ensemble and the Dharma Quintet.