Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Artist: Altenburger, Blondy, Gauguet (@)
Title: Vers l'Ile Paresseuse
Format: CD
Label: Creative Sources (@)
Rated: *****
In spite of its peculiar transgression against canonical academic rules and standards, improvisational music, particularly when performed by a group of musicians, entails a certain harmony between performers. It's quite clear since the first minutes of this recording that the blending between Bertrand Gauguet (alto and soprano saxophone), Frederic Blondy (piano) and Martine Altenburger (cello) is not only working, but it borders on the mystical. Such an amalgamation has been fostered by the fact Blondy and Gauguet know each other quite well, but it's astonishing Altenburger's cello manages to work as a glue while the sound bursting out from this combo rolls on, showing a great sensitivity and a noteworthy versatility - I particularly enjoyed the moments when her cello "wedges" itself into the bold experiments with breathe by Bertrand and obsessive and tenebrous hitting on very low tone's key by Frederic such as in the lovely "Dans les plis du vent" and those ones when she produces funny sounds through cello, which looks like a whistling tea kettle or a creaking door here and there -. In the initial track "La montagne ne porte pas le nuages", the rendering could sound quite fragmentary, but you will notice there's a gradual rising of tension: they reach some dramatic peaks adding layers and layers by following an imaginary disjointed path, during which the performers look like refining their "dialogue" in sketches which could be thought as frames of the same scene, till some brief moments when their instrument abruptly erupt. Beyond the technical aspect - arguably most of listenrs are going to enjoy Gauguet's and Altenburger's as the "presence" of Blondy's piano has mainly the role to set the general tone, a difficult task, which has been accomplished by the musician -, what is remarkable of this combo is their cinematic skills as they are able to describe a sort of spontaneus journey towards an imaginary lonely dimension througout absorbing changes of mood, cromatic mutations kust like a poetry whose delicacy can easily turn into something abrasive by using a musical language which often sounds skeletal despite its erraticism.


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