Reviews that mention Jean-Luc Guionnet

April 13, 2021

The Bridge Session 12

Forget to Find
TRS 12

The latest pre-pandemic chapter of the ongoing US-France The Bridge teamwork, the three improvisations that make up Forget to Find preceded an aborted European tour by this quartet. Perhaps playing live narrows the gap, but on the CD while individual music expression is accomplished, the Gallic and Yank players don’t seem to attain integration.

That’s odd since all are accomplished players. Of the two French players, alto saxophonist Pierre-Antoine Badaroux is a member of the Umlaut big band; Jean-Luc Guionnet, the other alto saxophonist is part of Hubbub and his own projects. Keyboardist Jim Baker has worked with everyone from Fred Anderson to Mars Williams, while bassist Jason Roebke works with the likes of Jason Stein. MORE

July 23, 2017

Bi-Ki?

Quelque Chose Au Milieu
Circum-Disc LX0008/Becoq Records 25

Jan Klare/Julius Gabriel

About Angels and Animals

Umland Records 05

Raymond MacDonald/Graeme Wilson

Cast of Thousands

Creative Sources CS 353 CD

Should a future Jazz historian be looking for a perception that would disassociate 21st Century improvised music from its 20th Century antecedent, communion has replaced challenge as an overriding musical motif. Like cars with giant fins, smoke-filled offices and steno pools, the idea of a cutting contest where one instrumentalist proved his skill by brutally defeating others in symbolic man-to-man combat is a relic of the past. Take these two-saxophone meetings for instance, Unlike the fabled Hawk vs. Prez or Jug vs Stitt reed battles, the players here are intent on advancing ingenious interaction while maintaining their own identities. The fashion of humiliated losers and triumphant winners is as outdated as spats. With the discs clearly slotted into the experimental expanse, each player works to expand the limits of his instrument to its utmost, MORE

May 8, 2017

Festival Report

Artacts ‘17
By Ken Waxman

One of Austria’s ski resorts abutting the Alps, St. Johann in Tirol also attracts music fans during the annual artacts Festival. Attendees March 10-12 could be forgiven for being smug. While warm weather limited optimal ski conditions, music fans’ experience was elevated without using chair lifts. Case in point was the DEK trio, which opened the festival at the comfortable rustic Alte Gerberei performance space. While American tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark is wedded to jazz, Austrian drummer Didi Kern is involved with rock and Graz-based pianist Elisabeth Harnik at home in notated music, the resolution of these contradictions gave the performance its bite. Kern’s paddled beat lent veracity to Vandermark’s bar-walking sax honking, while Harnik’s pastoral patterning added emotion to abstract altissimo clarinet twists. Harnik’s attack could be brawny as well, extending her dynamic range by pounding darker phases from the lowest-pitched keys and plucking, rubbing and twanging inner piano strings. Although teaming with discordant touches, DEK’s sound never lost its sense of swing. MORE

October 1, 2015

Festival Report

Météo
By Ken Waxman

Multi-media, theatricalism and electronics were the motifs that kept cropping up during the Météo Festival (August 25-29) in this Alsatian city known for its textile industry and unique German-French flair. There were also plenty of intense improvisations in its venues, confirming the continued strength of the 33-year-old festival.

Artistic mixing was most prominent during Météo’s opening concert in the Italianate 19th Century Théâtre de la Sinne as the French Surnatural Orchestra interacted with a screening of Italian director Dario D’Aregento’s 1975 slasher film Profondo Rosso. Unlike most music-with-cinema programs where live playing is subordinated to the visuals, this bloody over-the-top Hitchcock-Goddard-Fellini pastiche was frozen at various junctures for limber solos by a dancer, a speaker’s pseudo-pretentious film analysis, a scream from the stalls, cabaret style singing and a Second Line march through the audience. Still, no sonic moments stood out, and the exercise could be liked to someone decked out in full Carnaby Street fashion surmounting the outfit with a Viking helmet. MORE

October 19, 2013

Guionnet/La Casa/Samartzis

Stray Shafts of Sunlight
Swarming No #

Alfred 23 Harth

As Yves Drew A Line. Estate

Re-Records Re-CD 008R

Following the idiosyncratic process of mixing electronics with acoustic instruments, four European sound explorers do so along different paths and at many different lengths.

Concerned with adapting the spatial qualities of six unrelated spaces to the improvised patterns from his microphones, Philip Samartzis’ laptop and Jean-Luc Guionnet’s alto saxophone, Paris-based Eric La Casa mixes the material recorded by Samartzis into three distinct tracks on Stray Shafts of Sunlight. Not only are the processed timbres utilized but they’re blended with earlier field recordings. On the other hand, expanding the sonic contributions that result from his skill at playing multiple instruments, German-born, Seoul-based Alfred 23 Harth creates a 21-track showcase on As Yves Drew A Line. Estate – meaning or references unclear – which meld his playing of overdubbed instruments, electronic impulses with the insertion of previously recorded music. MORE

January 27, 2013

Thomas Tilly & Jean-Luc Guionnet

Stones Air Axioms
Circum-Disc LX 005

The Fish

Moon Fish

Clean Feed CF 254 CD

Jean-Luc Guionnet may not be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but the opposing musical personalities he reveals on these and in other situations suggests this duality – at least in a sonic sense. Paris-based and a members of the microtonal Hubbub quintet – hm, we could be getting into Three Faces of Eve territory here – on his own Guionnet can be the very epitome of the go-for-broke hard blowing Free Jazz saxophonist, as he demonstrates on Moon Fish. However his other persona is that of a composer/performer of New music. MORE

January 27, 2013

The Fish

Moon Fish
Clean Feed CF 254 CD

Thomas Tilly & Jean-Luc Guionnet

Stones Air Axioms

Circum-Disc LX 005

Jean-Luc Guionnet may not be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but the opposing musical personalities he reveals on these and in other situations suggests this duality – at least in a sonic sense. Paris-based and a members of the microtonal Hubbub quintet – hm, we could be getting into Three Faces of Eve territory here – on his own Guionnet can be the very epitome of the go-for-broke hard blowing Free Jazz saxophonist, as he demonstrates on Moon Fish. However his other persona is that of a composer/performer of New music. MORE

January 11, 2013

Rhapsody’s 2012 Jazz Critics' Poll

Individual Ballot
From Ken Waxman

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

Ken Waxman

Jazz Word (www.jazzword.com); The New York City Jazz Record

• Your choices for 2012's ten best new releases listed in descending order one-through-ten.

1. François Houle Genera Songlines SGL 1595-2

2. Fred Ho/Quincy Saul The Music of Cal Massey: A Tribute Mutable/Big Red Media 004

3. William Parker Centering: Unreleased Early Recordings 1976–1987 NoBusiness Records NBCD 42-47 MORE

May 21, 2012

The Ames Room

Bird Dies
Clean Feed: CF 231 CD

Ivo Perelman/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver

Family Ties

Leo Records CD LR 630

Free Jazz has no geography or language as these two CDs of outstanding trio improvisation prove. Seemingly any musician(s) from anywhere can organize an exceptional session just as long as the spirit is there. But that’s the key caveat. For unless the performance includes an indefinable helping of inspiration and cooperation, the results is endless blowing.

The younger group of players who make up the Ames Group understand this and, perhaps pointedly don’t make free expression their only methods of expression. Paris-based alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet for instance, is not only is involved with electro-acoustic compositions and pieces for organ but he’s one-fifth of Hubbub, France’s most recognizable reductionist band. Confirming the geographic separation, The Ames Room’s other members are Australians who have expatriated to different parts of Europe. Nantes, France-based Will Guthrie, is a percussionist who moves between Rock, Electronica and experimental solo expression; Berlin resident, bassist Clayton Thomas is as likely be found as part of an experimental duo as a big band playing complex arrangements. MORE

March 1, 2012

Jean-Luc Guionnet-Seijiro Murayama

Window Dressing
Potlatch P211

Seijiro Murayama-Stéphane Rives

Axiom for the Duration

Potlatch P111

Practically unknown except in his adopted country of France – and likely in his native Japan – Seijiro Murayama is a remarkable drummer whose percussion prestidigitation is usually conjured using brushes, sticks, contact microphones, a single snare drum and one cymbal. As these exceptional discs demonstrate, in spite of operating on a microtonal playing field with equal absorption in the qualities of silence and intonation, the results are mesmerizing. More specifically neither CD sounds remotely like the other, although a saxophonist is his partner on each. MORE

October 25, 2011

Hubbub

Hubbub Whobub
Matchless MRCD 80

Self-controlled and self-directed, CDs by this Swiss/French microtonal quintet usher listeners into a unique soundworld which they either accept or not. Doing so isn’t an onerous task, but Hububb – consisting of saxophonists Jean-Luc Guionnet and Bertrand Denzler, pianist Frédéric Blondy, guitarist Jean-Sébastien Mariage and percussionist Edward Perraud – is self-contained in its sonic imagery. Like the United Kingdom’s AMM and Australia’s The Necks, Hububb is one of those groups which negate easy comparisons to other musicians or bands. 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

January 27, 2009

Jean-Luc Guionnet & Toshimaru Nakamura

MAP
Potlatch P108

Jean-Luc Guionnet/Benjamin Duboc

W

Amor Fati Fatum 012

Eric Brochard-Jean-Luc Guionnet-Edward Perraud

[on]

In Situ IS 241

Three aural snapshots of contemporary French improv, taken at two- and three-year intervals, these CDs feature Lyon-native Jean-Luc Guionnet acquitting himself distinctively on alto saxophone and a bit of electric organ.

Now a Paris resident, the 42-year-old Guionnet is a self-taught instrumentalist who studied fine arts and aesthetics at the Sorbonne. One of the Gallic musicians committed in part to the reductioinist style, as he demonstrates on these sessions, the saxophonist is also a member of the band Hubbub with drummer Edward Perraud, who is also featured on [on]. Other exercises in lower-case improv here match him up with fellow practitioners from near – bassists Benjamin Duboc from Paris or Eric Brochard from Poitiers – and far – Japanese no-input board mixer Toshimaru Nakamura. MORE

January 27, 2009

Jean-Luc Guionnet/Benjamin Duboc

W
Amor Fati Fatum 012

Eric Brochard-Jean-Luc Guionnet-Edward Perraud

[on]

In Situ IS 241

Jean-Luc Guionnet & Toshimaru Nakamura

MAP

Potlatch P108

Three aural snapshots of contemporary French improv, taken at two- and three-year intervals, these CDs feature Lyon-native Jean-Luc Guionnet acquitting himself distinctively on alto saxophone and a bit of electric organ.

Now a Paris resident, the 42-year-old Guionnet is a self-taught instrumentalist who studied fine arts and aesthetics at the Sorbonne. One of the Gallic musicians committed in part to the reductioinist style, as he demonstrates on these sessions, the saxophonist is also a member of the band Hubbub with drummer Edward Perraud, who is also featured on [on]. Other exercises in lower-case improv here match him up with fellow practitioners from near – bassists Benjamin Duboc from Paris or Eric Brochard from Poitiers – and far – Japanese no-input board mixer Toshimaru Nakamura. MORE

January 27, 2009

Eric Brochard-Jean-Luc Guionnet-Edward Perraud

[on]
In Situ IS 241

Jean-Luc Guionnet/Benjamin Duboc

W

Amor Fati Fatum 012

Jean-Luc Guionnet & Toshimaru Nakamura

MAP

Potlatch P108

Three aural snapshots of contemporary French improv, taken at two- and three-year intervals, these CDs feature Lyon-native Jean-Luc Guionnet acquitting himself distinctively on alto saxophone and a bit of electric organ.

Now a Paris resident, the 42-year-old Guionnet is a self-taught instrumentalist who studied fine arts and aesthetics at the Sorbonne. One of the Gallic musicians committed in part to the reductioinist style, as he demonstrates on these sessions, the saxophonist is also a member of the band Hubbub with drummer Edward Perraud, who is also featured on [on]. Other exercises in lower-case improv here match him up with fellow practitioners from near – bassists Benjamin Duboc from Paris or Eric Brochard from Poitiers – and far – Japanese no-input board mixer Toshimaru Nakamura. MORE

January 31, 2008

ROVA

The Juke Box Suite
Not Two MW 786-2

Marc Baron/Bertrand Denzler/Jean-Luc Guionnet/Stéphane Rives

Propagation
s

Potlatch P107

Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg

Live At Roulette

Animul ANI 106

With unaccompanied group reed sessions now commonplace in improvised music, the challenge remains to make them more than technical exercises. Each of these notable CD succeeds in doing so; but each does so in an individual manner.

As could be expected from its populist title, The Juke Box Suite is probably the most lyrical of the many CDs from the Bay area-based ROVA quartet, which arguably pioneered the four saxophone concept in improv. Propagations, on the other hand, features a quartet of young French saxophonists, who have only performed in this formation since 2003. Completely eschewing the song form, the group’s one long performance uses textures, layering and arrangements that use reeds as sound sources rather than melody extensions. A duo, rather than a quartet like those on the other CDs, Brooklyn-based Ned Rothenberg and London-based Evan Parker exhibit their mastery of the multi-reed form by blending different combinations of Rothenberg’s three reeds and Parker’s two on six live performances. MORE

January 31, 2008

ROVA

The Juke Box Suite
Not Two MW 786-2

Marc Baron/Bertrand Denzler/Jean-Luc Guionnet/Stéphane Rives

Propagations

Potlatch P107

Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg

Live At Roulette

Animul ANI 106

With unaccompanied group reed sessions now commonplace in improvised music, the challenge remains to make them more than technical exercises. Each of these notable CD succeeds in doing so; but each does so in an individual manner.

As could be expected from its populist title, The Juke Box Suite is probably the most lyrical of the many CDs from the Bay area-based ROVA quartet, which arguably pioneered the four saxophone concept in improv. Propagations, on the other hand, features a quartet of young French saxophonists, who have only performed in this formation since 2003. Completely eschewing the song form, the group’s one long performance uses textures, layering and arrangements that use reeds as sound sources rather than melody extensions. A duo, rather than a quartet like those on the other CDs, Brooklyn-based Ned Rothenberg and London-based Evan Parker exhibit their mastery of the multi-reed form by blending different combinations of Rothenberg’s three reeds and Parker’s two on six live performances. MORE

January 31, 2008

Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg

Live At Roulette
Animul ANI 106

Marc Baron/Bertrand Denzler/Jean-Luc Guionnet/Stéphane Rives

Propagations

Potlatch P107

ROVA

The Juke Box Suite

Not Two MW 786-2

With unaccompanied group reed sessions now commonplace in improvised music, the challenge remains to make them more than technical exercises. Each of these notable CD succeeds in doing so; but each does so in an individual manner.

As could be expected from its populist title, The Juke Box Suite is probably the most lyrical of the many CDs from the Bay area-based ROVA quartet, which arguably pioneered the four saxophone concept in improv. Propagations, on the other hand, features a quartet of young French saxophonists, who have only performed in this formation since 2003. Completely eschewing the song form, the group’s one long performance uses textures, layering and arrangements that use reeds as sound sources rather than melody extensions. A duo, rather than a quartet like those on the other CDs, Brooklyn-based Ned Rothenberg and London-based Evan Parker exhibit their mastery of the multi-reed form by blending different combinations of Rothenberg’s three reeds and Parker’s two on six live performances. MORE

January 31, 2008

Marc Baron/Bertrand Denzler/Jean-Luc Guionnet/Stéphane Rives

Propagations
Potlatch P107

ROVA

The Juke Box Suite

Not Two MW 786-2

Evan Parker & Ned Rothenberg

Live At Roulette

Animul ANI 106

With unaccompanied group reed sessions now commonplace in improvised music, the challenge remains to make them more than technical exercises. Each of these notable CD succeeds in doing so; but each does so in an individual manner.

As could be expected from its populist title, The Juke Box Suite is probably the most lyrical of the many CDs from the Bay area-based ROVA quartet, which arguably pioneered the four saxophone concept in improv. Propagations, on the other hand, features a quartet of young French saxophonists, who have only performed in this formation since 2003. Completely eschewing the song form, the group’s one long performance uses textures, layering and arrangements that use reeds as sound sources rather than melody extensions. A duo, rather than a quartet like those on the other CDs, Brooklyn-based Ned Rothenberg and London-based Evan Parker exhibit their mastery of the multi-reed form by blending different combinations of Rothenberg’s three reeds and Parker’s two on six live performances. MORE

December 4, 2007

The Fish

Live at Olympic Café & Jazz à Mulhouse
Ayler Records aylCD 008/057

Screaming, screeching Energy Music – but with cerebral insight – this two-CD set confirms that no-holds-barred Aylerian Free Jazz continues to thrive and vibrate in France and elsewhere. Paradoxically enough though, The Fish’s alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet and drummer Edward Perraud are also members of Hubbub, the French quintet whose approach to improvisation is hushed and minimalist to the extreme.

Yet on the three long tracks here, recorded in a Paris café and at an Alsatian jazz festival, Guionnet plays with boisterous, unbridled, piercing intensity, as Perraud rolls, rebounds and smashes in a Rashied Ali-like fashion. Third Fish is bassist Benjamin Duboc, veteran of many other Euro improv bands, who alternately thumps powerful beats or shuffle bows and resonates unexpected arco string patterns. MORE

August 28, 2006

Chiesa/Guionnet/Marchetti/Noetinger

Sion
w.m.o/r 21

Chiesa/Guionnet/Petit/La Casa
Belvédère
Creative Sources CS058

Site-specific, electro-acoustic free improvisations, both of these CDs are named for and reflect the settings in which they were recorded. Sharing Paris-based alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet and bassist David Chiesa in common, the sharply different sound of each notable disc results as much from the location as either quartet’s instrumentation.

Clustered adjacent to the organ of a Jesuit church in the Swiss town of Sion, Guionnet – who also doodles on the organ’s double bank of keys – and Chiesa, plus musique concrète specialists Lionel Marchetti and Jérôme Noetinger manipulating electo-acoustic apparatus, use this ecclesiastical space to reflect, amplify and transmogrify their output. Over 79 plus minutes the result is dry, cluttered and somewhat claustrophobic. MORE

November 7, 2005

Lazro/Doneda/Hoevenaers/Nick

Aeroliothes
Vand’oeuvre

Denzler/Guionnet//Kinoshita/Unami
Vasistas
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

March 14, 2005

Hubbub

Hoib
Matchless

Charles/Denzler/Mariage/Werchowski
Metz
Creative Sources

By Ken Waxman
March 14, 2005

Part of the wave of minimalistic improvisers who somehow manage to appropriate the mechanics of electronic timbres for acoustic instruments, these two French groups still affirm that small intervals, diminutive resonance and near-static harmony can provide memorable music if you ignore the so-called proper way that instruments should sound.

Hubbub tries to transcend the tone question from the beginning. Each of its CDs lists only the players names, not the instruments they play. For the record the band is made up of Jean-Luc Guionnet on soprano and alto saxophones, Bertrand Denzler on tenor saxophone, Frédéric Blondy on piano, guitarist Jean-Sébastian Mariage and drummer Edward Perraud. MORE

October 6, 2003

HUBBUB

Hoop Whoop
Matchless MRCD 53

RETURN OF THE NEW THING
Traque
Ayler Records aylCD-010

Proof once again that improvising musicians can thrive in any circumstance, no matter the label, is provided with these two, mostly in-concert, CDs.

HOOP WHOOP is a refined slice of microtonal EuroImprov by five questing French musicians captured at a festival in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy. In contrast, TRAQUE is a hell-bent-for-leather slab of ferocious Free Jazz/Free Improv recorded by three French and one British players live and in the studio. MORE

May 12, 2003

WARBURTON/GUIONNET/LA CASA

Métro Pré Saint Gervais
Chloë 002

ARTHUR DOYLE/DAN WARBURTON/EDWARD PERRAUD
The Basement Tapes
Durtro 063CD

You really can’t argue with the title of the more than 64-minute slice of musique concrète on MÉTRO PRÉ SAINT GERVAIS. That’s because Eric La Casa took his mics into the bowls of that Paris subway station and recorded French alto saxophonist

Jean-Luc Guionnet and British violinist Dan Warburton improvising in real time right on the subway platform.

As the disc rotates you see how well the two improvisers react to the found sound around them, including the noisy arrival and the departure of the Métro trains, buzzes of mechanized noises, announcements blaring from the sound system, passing footfalls and crowd noises and snatches of cross talk from the passengers -- men, women and children, French and foreign. MORE