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Soundohm

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Noël AKCHOTÉ

Soundpage(s)

Label: DEUX Z

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

Out of stock

French guitarist Nöel Akchoté has confounded critics since his earliest releases with his blend of swinging jazz, free improvisation, and art-song sensibilities. Soundpage(s) are going to do more to further that confusion despite the fact that this album is easily the finest and most consistent realization of Akchoté's musical vision to date. This is a conceptual work centered around the soundbites on television news. And as a result, our composer felt given the vast world of soundbites to critique, he would employ a larger band. Augmenting his normal quartet of Julien Lourau on alto and flute, Daniel Casimir on trombone, and Francois Merville on drums, with an electronics manipulator, two more trombonists, and a vocalist, Akchoté has created an avant New Orleans version of the jazz guerillas as they pillage sacred cows, boring newsmen, and stale end-of-time stories for the sake of indulging the harmonic pleasures of lyrical and atonal improvisation. At times swinging as if it is stomping in the French Quarter ("SD") or whispering chamber-like homages to its heroes ("Godard," "Beograd"), the Akchoté band is too slippery to pin down. It is just as likely in any of these compositions to throw a heavy metal rock & roll curveball into a straight eight vamp as to accent the drummers on a ballad. Wading your way through the 27 "soundbits" that make up Soundpage(s) is a demanding exercise, but one that pays off in spades with a deeper understanding of how Akchoté constructs his principle of harmony -- using the dynamics and melodic sensibilities of early Bill Frisell and wedding them to older European ideas about jazz and rhythm and then blowing them all to hell in a complex web of tonal inquiry that leaves no stone unturned -- unplayed. Conceptually this is tough to grasp, musically it's tough to enter, but once you do, the magic hits you full force and there's no turning back.
Details
Cat. number: zz84115
Year: 1994

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