Reviews that mention Daunik Lazro

May 28, 2021


Ayler AYLCD- 162

Creating perceptive sound insights, a quartet of experienced French improvisers convene an unusual configuration for unique technical approaches. Featured are trumpeters/flugelhornists Jean-Luc Cappozzo and Nicolas Souchal, violinist Michael Nick and tenor/baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro. All have played together in various ensembles, but never in one like this.

Lacking a rhythm section or dedicated chordal instruments, it’s Nick’s strident sul ponticello stropping and the clanging of Cappozzo’s so-called objects which pace the in-the-moment improvisations. Even so, emphasis is on low-pitched reed split tones and smears, two-part brass tongue stabs and inner tube-like burbles plus spicatto string glissandi than horizontal evolution. Squalling or squeaking multiphonics, Lazro extracts flattement and hiccupping spits in the exposition of “Les fenêtres de périodes impaires” with the same fluidity he brings to clenched vocalized growls on “Super spell” that slide down from altissimo yelps to barely there splintered whistles. Contrapuntal responses from brass players include burbles, grainy smears and a division between open-horn textures from one and plunger growls from the other. At the same time besides strategies like pressurized whines, either trumpeter can create an obbligato, as on “Point d'assemblage” for a buttery melodic sequence, which stands out and contrasts with Nick’s spiccato string jolts until it concentrates as part of a brass-led finale. MORE

January 16, 2021

Jean-Marc Foussat + Daunik Lazro and Evan Parker

Solo and Trio
FOU Records FR CD 38/39

Best known as one of the experts in recording, mixing and mastering European Free Music sessions – he does so with most of Joëlle Léandre’s discs – Jean-Marc Foussat performs as well. But the French polymath long ago put aside his guitar to concentrate on the textures can extract from an AKS synthesizer, cannily dovetailing into his other dial-twisting work. Designed to exhibit musician Foussat’s talents as a soloist and in a group context this two-CD set succeeds on both counts. MORE

October 16, 2018

A Pride of Lions

The Bridge Sessions 08
TBS 08

Rodrigo Amado/Joe McPhee/Kent Kessler/Chris Corsano

History of Nothing

Trost TR 170

Always up for a challenge American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee is involved in classic two-horn face-off on these CDs. Recorded about 13 months apart, in different European cities, McPhee, playing tenor saxophone and pocket trumpet, is partnered in the front-line on The Bridge Sessions by French tenor and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro, who is as seasoned a Free Jazz veteran as the Yank. Of much younger vintage is Portuguese tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado, who McPhee encounters on A History of Nothing. Using soprano saxophone and pocket trumpet on that date, McPhee and Amado, are backed by an expected rhythm section of Americans Kent Kessler on bass and Chris Corsano on drums. However The Bridge backing features Americans Chad Taylor playing drums and mbira, Joshua Abrams’ bass and guembri plus Guillaume Séguron from France on double bass. MORE

September 11, 2018

The Clifford Thornton Memorial Quartet

Sweet Oranges
NotTwo MW 971-2

Quentin Rollet/Jean-Marc Foussat/Christian Rollet

Entrée des Pays de grête

Bisou Records BIS-007 U/Fou Records CD 30

Paris-based Jean-Marc Foussat bifurcated career is half dedicated to his skillful recording of major French exploratory musicians such as bassist Joëlle Léandre , while the remainder of his time is taken up using his analogue AKS synthesizer to add to the creative sounds produced by sympathetic associates. Each of these CDs takes advantage of his dual personality, and such is the architecture of the sessions that each of his talents is used fruitfully. MORE

January 6, 2018

NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll

2017 Ballot
Ken Waxman

This year’s 10 best New Releases listed in descending order one-through-ten.

1. Sophie Agnel/Daunik Lazro Marguerite d’Or PâleFou Records FR-CD 21

2. Jason Kao Hwang Sing House Euonymus EU 03

3. Alexander Hawkins Unit[e] AH 1002/3

4. Heliosonic Tone-tette Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1 ScienSonic Laboratories SS10

5. Tiziano Tononi & Daniele Cavallanti Nexus Experience Nexus!Rudi Records RRJ1035

6. Arashi Semikujira Trost TR 146

7. Harris Eisenstadt Recent Developments Songlines SGL 1620-2 MORE

October 21, 2017


Ayler AylCD-150

With his creed Free Jazz, as it has been since the 1970s, French saxophonist Daunik Lazro doesn’t often record standards. Yet his dissident treatment of John Coltrane’s “Lonnie’s Lament”, Albert Ayler’s “Angels”, plus “Sophisticated Lady’ and “Hop Head”, two Duke Ellington tunes here serves notice that the 72-year-old tenor/baritone player unequivocally considers himself part of the Jazz tradition.

Although the number of right-wing ideologues forcing dogma on others seems to be intensifying politically, the neo-con Jazz movement may have runs its course. At least three generations of advanced French improvisers were able to work together on this rarified yet relaxed CD. Lazro, who has partnered musicians like reedist Joe McPhee, is joined by trumpeter/flugelhornist Jean-Luc Cappozzo, 63, who often works with bassist Joëlle Léandre; and drummer Didier Lasserre, 46, who has recorded with bassist Benjamin Duboc. Together they create a close-knit Three Musketeers-like configuration. MORE

March 1, 2017

Sophie Agnel/Daunik Lazro

Marguerite d’Or Pâle
Fou Records FR-CD 21

Not as potentially world-altering as François Fillon’s – as well as Donald Trump’s – budding bromance with Vladimir Putin, a Moscow audience’s rapt attention to this superior improvisational program here indicates more favorable axioms. Consisting of six tunes performed by French improvisers, saxophonist Daunik Lazro and pianist Sophie Agnel, Marguerite d’Or Pâle confirms the universality of music, despite the post-Soviet-Gallic political climate. More crucially, in this case, it confirms the high standards of committed French musicians that are recognized by international audiences. MORE

February 18, 2017

NPR’s 11th Annual

Jazz Critics Poll Ballot

•Your name and primary affiliation(s)

Ken Waxman: The New York City Jazz Record; Whole Note

•Your choices for this year’s 10 best New Releases listed in descending order

1. Alexander Hawkins Trio Alexander Hawkins Music AH 1001

2. Anna Webber’s Simple Trio Binary Skirl Records 033

3. Michael Formanek Ensemble Kolossus The Distance ECM 2484

4. Artifacts Reed-Reid-Mitchell 482 Music 482-1093

5. Umlaut Big Band Euro Swing Vol. 2 Umlaut UMFR-CD18 MORE

January 2, 2017

Daunik Lazro/Joe McPhee

The Cerkno Concert Music for Legendary Heroes
Klopotec IZK CD 044

Joe McPhee


Cipsela CIP005

Dedicated to creativity, multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee is like the Little Engine that Could – if you imagine that classic tale of hard works and optimism transported to the realm of improvised music. As intent on pursuing his own path as any visionary, the brass-reed specialist has done so since the mid-1960s and shows no sign of slowing down. As secure in his ideas as Do0nald Trump is in his pomposity, McPhee produced these compelling programs when he was 70 (Flowers) and 76 (The Cerkno Concert) with no sign of technical or idea slackening. The first CD, recorded in Coimbra, Portugal, is an object lesson in how to maintain audience support during a solo alto saxophone recital. The other, also recorded live, but in Cerkno, Slovenia, matches McPhee’s alto saxophone and pocket trumpet with the tonal undertaking from French tenor and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro. Lazro, whose story of uncompromising individualism and restricted cult acceptance, could be the Gallic filmic remake of McPhee’s version original. Like fraternal organization members from far away who recognize similar convictions in one another, they’ve collaborated since the early 1990s. MORE

December 6, 2014

Peter Kowald/Daunik Lazro/Annick Nozati

Instants Chavirés
Fou Records FR-CD 05

By Ken Waxman

Known for her long-time collaborations with other free music avatars like pianist Fred Van Hove and trombonist Johannes Bauer, Annick Nozati (1945-2000) indefatigably demonstrated that remarkable vocal improvisations didn’t necessarily have to come from the jazz tradition … or even music. For the French chanteuse’s spontaneous vocal mutations were just as closely allied to her work in experimental theatre plus her pointillist blending of textures and colors as a painter. MORE

August 21, 2014


Sens Radiants
Dark Tree DT 04

Abdelhaï Bennani Trio


JaZt Tapes CD 038

Jazz has long been predicated on the impeccable partnership of drums-and-bass, including Jo Jones and Walter Page; Vernal Fournier and Israel Crosby, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison plus Jean-Jacques Avenel and John Betsch. Right now, the rhythm section duo which best epitomizes this equivalent extrasensory perception-like coordination in France is that of double bassist Benjamin Duboc plus percussionist Didier Lasserre. Although Duboc is a Parisian and Lasserre lives in Bordeaux, they link up often enough to have arguably become the go-to rhythm team for many of the country’s most advanced improvisers. MORE

July 1, 2014

Danuik Lazro/Joëlle Léandre

NoBusiness Records NBCD 62

Joëlle Léandre & Pascal Contet


Ayler aylCD-137

Paradoxically and characteristically, French bassist Joëlle Léandre has always insisted that she loves improvising in novel combinations – and also prefers to work with players with whom she has along association. These exceptional duo sessions are instances of the latter, and despite superficial variances, both actually have more in common than is initially evident.

Léandre and French Free Jazz baritone saxophonist Danuik Lazro has been playing in different partnerships since 1984. Meanwhile French accordionist Pascal Contet, best known as an interpreter of modern notated music as well as dabbling in theatre and film soundtracks, has had an on-again/off-again duo with Léandre for two decades. Comprehensively these discs highlight the bass player’s interactions with two reed players, except one uses bellows and buttons and the other keys and a mouthpiece. MORE

July 20, 2013

Kristoff K Roll/Daunik Lazro

Chants du Milieu
Creative Sources CS 219 CD

Michel Doneda/ Mathias Pontevia/Didier Lasserre

Miettes & Plaines

Petit Label PL son 014

Mature veterans of France’s improvised music scene – saxophone division – Toulouse-based Michel Doneda, 58, and Daunik Lazro, 67, who lives in Frontignan, have been pursuing original reed strategies since the 1970s, on some occasion together. These bravado variations on their art however confirm that their individual searches are far from over. Both Miettes & Plaines and Chants du Milieu are high quality works presenting each man as part of an unconventional ensemble. MORE

May 21, 2012


NoBusiness NBCD 38

Exceptional music that’s blazingly intense yet judiciously moderate, Curare, apparently named for the South American muscle-relaxant plant, captures sessions recorded almost two years apart from what in advanced music terms is a super group.

All of its members have been plying their trade in this gene since the 1970s, French baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro with the likes of soprano saxophonist Michel Doneda and bassist Joëlle Léandre; fellow Gaul, guitarist Jean-François Pauvros with everyone from drummer Makoto Sato to harpist Hélène Breschand; and British percussionist Roger Turner with seemingly every advanced sound explore in the United Kingdom, North America and the Continent. Never before have they recorded in trio formation and the four tracks hang together so well because of another contradiction: each cooperates fully with the others, but no one alters his individual style. MORE

January 25, 2012

Daunik Lazro/Benjamin Duboc/Didier Lasserre

Pourtant Les Cimes des Arbres
Dark Tree DT 01

Daunik Lazro

Some Other Zongs

Ayler Records AYLCD-123

Although at this point the Grand Old Man of uncompromising French improv – he’s 66 – age and circumstances haven’t diminished the inventive power of baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro. While many of living contemporaries have retreated into Jazz-Pop, Bop retreads or contemporary neo-Classicism, the Chantilly-born reed man continues to musically challenge himself and others.

These top-flight CDs confirm his cerebral and physical skills. Some Other Zongs is a follow up to his first solo discs of a decade ago, while Pourtant Les Cimes des Arbres has him matching wits with two of the country’s most accomplished improvisers more than a quarter century his junior: Paris bassist Benjamin Duboc and Bordeaux-based percussionist Didier Lasserre. Lazro, whose accomplished associates in the past have included bassists Jean Jacques Avenel and Paul Rogers, plus percussionists Lê Quan Ninh and Dennis Charles isn’t fazed by anything Duboc and especially Lasserre throw his way, and several times appears to have both scrambling to keep up with his reed conceptions. MORE

January 25, 2012

Daunik Lazro

Some Other Zongs
Ayler Records AYLCD-123

Daunik Lazro/Benjamin Duboc/Didier Lasserre

Pourtant Les Cimes des Arbres

Dark Tree DT 01

Although at this point the Grand Old Man of uncompromising French improv – he’s 66 – age and circumstances haven’t diminished the inventive power of baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro. While many of living contemporaries have retreated into Jazz-Pop, Bop retreads or contemporary neo-Classicism, the Chantilly-born reed man continues to musically challenge himself and others. MORE

January 20, 2012

Rhapsody's 2011 Jazz Critics' Poll

Individual Ballot
From Ken Waxman

1) Your name and primary affiliation(s) (no more than two, please)

2) Ken Waxman

Jazz Word ( )

3) Your choices for 2011's ten best new releases (albums released between Thanksgiving 2010 and Thanksgiving 2011, give or take), listed in descending order one-through-ten.

1. World Saxophone Quartet Yes We Can Jazzwerkstatt JW 098

2. Gerald Cleaver Uncle June Be It As I See It Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT-375

3. Hubbub Whobub Matchless MRCD 80 MORE

October 10, 2011

Festival Report:

Météo Music Festival August 23 to August 27 2011
By Ken Waxman

Météo means weather in French, and one notable aspect of this year’s Météo Music Festival which takes place in Mulhouse, France, was the weather. It’s a testament to the high quality of the creative music there that audiences throughout the five days were without exception quiet and attentive despite temperatures in non air-conditioned concert spaces that hovered around the high 90sF. More dramatically, one afternoon a sudden freak thunderstorm created an unexpected crescendo to a hushed, spatial performance, by the Greek-Welsh Cranc trio of cellist Nikos Veliotis, harpist Rhodri Davies and violinist Angharad Davies, when winds violently blew ajar the immense wooden front door of Friche DMC, a former thread factory, causing glass to shatter and fall nosily. MORE

August 22, 2010

Benjamin Bondonneau/Daunik Lazro

L’Arbre Ouvert
Le Châtaignier Bleu No #

Michel Doneda/eRikm/Jérome Noetinger

Dos d’ânes

Ronda RND12

When it comes to French improvisers who bridge the gap between forceful Free Jazzers of the 1960s and that country’s newest generation whose approach is catholic and non-hierarchal, two saxophonists stand out. Soprano saxophonist Michel Doneda, 55, and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro, nine years his senior, are perpetual reed explores, melding Jazz, ethnic and non-idiomatic sounds into separate personal methodologies and, in the face of changing fads and fashions, have done so for the past 30 years. Each saxophonist is featured on an exemplary CD that serendipitously demonstrates how distinctive abstract improvisations can be in settings that are as dissimilar as can be imagined. MORE

March 8, 2010

Quatuor Qwat Reum Six

Live at Festival NPAI 2007
Amor Fati FATUM 017

With sonic textures and timbres often as inscrutable as the band’s name, four of France’s most accomplished improvisers explore non-idiomatic sounds. This continuous, though segmented, performance is not only tonally mesmerizing, but also one which, through the use of extensions and techniques negate the differences between acoustic and electronic instruments.

A self-described “outlaw in jazz”, baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro has followed his own muse for decades, Here, his nephritic timbres and unexpected upward twists produce as many oscillations as the static loops and patches exposed from Jérôme Noetinger’s table-top electronics. Meantime, while Michael Nick’s string shaking, shuffle bowing and spiccato patterns extend the violin’s range, Sophie Agnel hardly touches the piano keys, preferring to create her own aesthetic with resonation, thumps and clanks available when internal strings are first prepared and then plucked, strummed or stroked. MORE

November 12, 2009

Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon

Ulrichsberg, Austria
April 30 –May 2, 2009

A site-specific performance that took into account the dimensions and machinery of a still-functioning 1853 linen factory; resounding interface between pulsating electronic and acoustic instruments; and a full-force finale involving a mid-sized band were among the notable performances at 2009’s Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon.

Remarkable as well as the consistently high quality of the 11 concerts that took place during the 23rd edition of this three-day festival, is the location: a farming and small manufacturing village of fewer than 7,000 people about 60 kilometres west of Linz, Austria. MORE

December 18, 2008


Amor Fati Fatum 016



Sans Bruit sbr004

Like many nations in Europe, France has a long-established, fully-developed and significant jazz and improvised music scene. Unlike players elsewhere however, in general French musicians appear most comfortable gigging within the country’s borders and collaborating with locals. Thus, to our detriment, appreciation for significant French talent is somewhat limited. However, these fine sessions could help rectify the situation. MORE

December 18, 2008


Sans Bruit sbr004



Amor Fati Fatum 016

Like many nations in Europe, France has a long-established, fully-developed and significant jazz and improvised music scene. Unlike players elsewhere however, in general French musicians appear most comfortable gigging within the country’s borders and collaborating with locals. Thus, to our detriment, appreciation for significant French talent is somewhat limited. However, these fine sessions could help rectify the situation. MORE

October 2, 2006


In Finland
Cadence CJR 1186

Next To You
émouvance émv 1023

By Ken Waxman

Recorded five months apart in 2004, these sessions confirm one again the apparently endless adaptability of multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee. NEXT TO YOU is the first time the Poughkeepsie, N.Y. native has recorded with his French quartet after 12 years of its existence. IN FINLAND on the other hand is a classic one-off festival gig in Raahe, where pianist Matthew Shipp joins the long-established duo of McPhee and bassist Dominic Duval. Both have something unique to offer. MORE

September 19, 2006


Dedicated to you Annick, but you weren’t listening
Vand’oeuvre vdo 0631

Demanding an overused cliché, the unwieldy-named REKMAZLAPZEP is a super group consisting of four of France’s most accomplished improvisers. Modesty would no double cause the quartet members to reject the accolade, but it’s their years of improv exploration together and in other aggregations that makes this CD so notable.

At the same time this is creativity mixed with solemnity, since the four organized as a group six years ago to honor the memory of French improvising vocalist Annick Nozati (1945-2000), with whom each had played at one point or another. The title is an ironic, and non-sappy, reference to her absence from the scene. Not that this live session is any way program music. There is no vocalist present, all the sounds are improvised and the seven tracks advanced by the unusual instrumentation – trombone, saxophone and two electric guitars – precludes sentimentality with multi-layered instrumental bravura. MORE

November 7, 2005



Creative Sources

By Ken Waxman
November 7, 2005

With such a supposedly limited palate one would think that the differences among microtonal sounds would be slight. Yet as these French-oriented, reeds-and-strings instances demonstrate, lumping together all lower case sound generators is the equivalent of confusing Chicago style and New Orleans style traditional jazz.

Aeroliothes’ quartet improvisations reflect the talents of the true first generation of Continental Free Music players. Post-jazzers, they demonstrate how the bravura emphasis of Free Jazz can be mutated into something unique through collective improvisation. MORE

August 30, 2004


Where the Two Worlds Touch
Arabesque AJ0159

Twelve improvisations
Leo CD LR 394

Building on jazz’s standard two-horns-and-rhythm combo format, these CDs impress by showing how the players manage to make things new by tweaking sounds to match their own aspirations.

A team for over 20 years, pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and bassist Joe Fonda do this by not only insisting that all the sounds on their CD be completely improvised, but by adding another voice to the line-up. French alto and baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro is one of that country’s foremost experimenters, working in contexts as varied as solo recitals and bands with saxophonist Michel Doneda and Joe McPhee. Here his unique articulation and sound sources add another dimension to that supplied by the pianist, bassist, long-time drummer Harvey Sorgen, and endlessly inventive trumpeter Herb Robertson, who has worked with Fonda and Stevens in various bands, on-and-off for more than a decade. MORE

November 18, 2002


Le petit bruit d’à côté du coeur du monde
Vand’oeuvre VDO 0222

Musique concrète -- using and rearranging man-made and found sounds into music -- was definitely named and created by the French and others in the late 1940s. So it should come as no surprise than this long time, so-called serious music technique has been adapted by the French electroacoustic duo, Kristoff K. Roll as the underpinning of its poetic homage to West Africa.

Based on field recordings the two -- Jean-Christophe Camps and composer Carole Rieussec -- taped during a 1994 sojourn to, among other countries, Mali, Guinea and Senegal, this two-CD set is more than an auditory souvenir of their trip. For the next seven years after the journey, KK Roll edited, altered and mixed the tapes, adding actualities from Paris and elsewhere in France, plus created electronic and composed music to amplify the source. Ultimately, they mixed that result with the sounds of a string quartet playing notated music -- and much more notably -- the improvisations of French baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro. MORE

June 29, 2002


Madly You
Potlatch P102

Without exaggeration, this more than one-hour slab of free improvisation recorded live last year, features an object lesson in how to best express this subtle art. It’s particularly noteworthy because it shows that, unlike the hushed minimalism that characterizes the work of many younger improvisers, these seasoned pros aren’t afraid to express their craft at the volume it deserves.

However, even with the alto and baritone saxophone of France’s Daunik Lazro plus the percussion and musical saw (!) of Germany’s Paul Lovens the sounds don’t degenerate into blaring discord either. After all, Lovens, the master of selected and unselected percussion, has had a long relationship with folks like British saxophonist Evan Parker and German pianist Alexander von Schilppenbach who know their notes and timbres. While Lazro, who is probably -- undeservedly -- the least known of the four musicians here, has in the past matched wits with such sonic shamans as American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, Parker and American trombonist George Lewis. He also played with the final two improvisers here -- French bassist Joëlle Léandre and Portuguese violinist Carlos Zingaro as long ago as 1985. MORE