DAUNIK LAZRO / JOËLLE LÉANDRE / GEORGE LEWIS – Enfances

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January 1984. As your darling reviewer was living his life’s best year – school finished six months prior, stint in the Italian army still to come, everything simply perfect in total “I-do-what-I-want” mode – three big names of improvisation were already at work to establish priorities and levels in the “acoustic freedom” category. Heterodoxy of timbres, vivid intelligence and communal intuitiveness made sure that, on a winter evening in Paris, Lazro (alto sax), Léandre (double bass and voice) and Lewis (trumpet and toys) would manufacture something special. That “something” is finally documented in its entirety in this exquisite release, of which about 20 minutes had appeared on Lazro’s double LP Sweet Zee (HatART), published six years prior.

So, once again we’re trying and distinguish between people born with a gift and peddlers of virtues that do not exist at all. For starters, this trio all but ignored the meaning of “inertia”. In varying combinations, they merely opened the arms and let the energies of instantaneous reaction flow through the bodies. The sounds are positioned with committed precision in spite of their spontaneous generation; a sensible improviser always know when it’s time to speak, to remain mute, or just to laugh at the surrounding events while keeping up with the ongoing currents. Naturally, this is not enough to produce entertaining music. Most of all, what’s needed in such a context is the capacity of portraying diverse realities in the space of instants. Lazro’s resolute discharges transmit a sense of passionate animation; Léandre’s mixing of powerful technique and ironic poetry has become a trademark over the decades; Lewis’ unusual utterances and joyful chatter complement the interplay with a cross of indiscipline and fluidity. The magic lies in the impeccable proportions of the resulting materials, invaluable segments of “here and now” counterpoint permeated with spectacular clarity and not a little fun. A temporary relief, if you will, for those who crave a universal resurrection via sheer sonic liveliness. Count me among them, steadily dwindling hopes notwithstanding. Or call the ambulance, and prepare the straitjacket.

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