Reviews that mention Frédéric Blondy

October 17, 2021

Michel Doneda/Fréderic Blondy/Tetsu Saitoh

Spring Road 16
Relative Pitch RPR 1121

While it’s macabre to note and fraught with superstition, the tolling piano chords which Frédéric Blondy sounds frequently during the CD’s first selection may augur the death knell that could have sounded three years later when master bassist Tetsu Saitoh finally succumbed to cancer. In practice though, it’s merely one embedded tone among the multitude created by the Japanese bassist and his French partners, Blondy and saxophonist Michel Doneda. Spring Road is the unusual title used by Saitoh, who also composed for philharmonics and improvised with many other Japanese and Europeans, used for his duo with the saxophonist. The 16 is because this concert took place in 2016. The pianist, known for his membership in Hubbub, had worked in a trio with the others a decade earlier. MORE

September 8, 2017

Anemone

A Wing Dissolved in Light
NoBusiness Records NBLP 105

Toxic

This is Beautiful because we are Beautiful People

ESP-Disk ESP 5011

Brötzmann/Swell/Nilssen-Love

Krakow Nights

Not Two MW-937-2

BassDrumBone

The Long Road

Auricle Records AUR 16/17

Something in the Air: New Excitement at the Guelph Jazz Festival

By Ken Waxman

After a couple of quiet years the annual Guelph Festival (GJF), September 13 to September 17, is newly energized and asserting its role as one of Canada’s most consistent showcases of adventurous music. Another reason for this year’s buzz is that besides the outstanding Canadian and American musicians consistently featured at the GJF, major European improvisers will be on hand as well. MORE

September 5, 2017

Météo Mulhouse Music Festival

August 22 to August 26, 2017

A consistent French tradition like chewy baguettes, fine Camembert or Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mulhouse, France’s Météo Festival, now in its 35th year, continues to present exemplary musicians in concert, without the program ever becoming homogeneous. What this means is that while the festival which took place August 22-August 26, was introduced and reached a climax with absorbing and innovative with sets by veteran Imptov saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, performances which encompassed minimalism, hard-core Free Jazz, electronics, Rock, notated and folkloric music were part of the schedule. MORE

March 5, 2013

Charlotte Hug & Frédéric Blondy

Bouquet
Emanem 5026

Ig Henneman Sextet

Live at the Ironworks Vancouver

Wig 21

By Ken Waxman

Q: What’s the difference between a dog and a viola? A: The dog knows when to stop scratching. Of all the stringed instruments extant, it’s the viola which gets the least respect, with this joke only one of hundreds about it.

Yet because of its unique intonation the viola has become a favored method of expression for inventive improvisers like the two on these discs. Certainly Zürich’s Charlotte Hug and Amsterdam’s Ig Henneman confirm the versatility of their chosen instrument. MORE

April 16, 2012

Frédéric Blondy & DJ Lenar

Play Mauricio Kagel’s Ludwig van
Bolt BR POP02

Altenburger/Blondy/Gauguet

Vers L’île Paresseuse

Creative Sources CS 182 CD

Departures from the concentrated minimalism that characterizes the Hubbub quintet, his longest lasting musical affiliation, Paris-based pianist Frédéderic Blondy is involved with much different strategies on these releases.

Still in the Free Music zone, Vers L’île Paresseuse is atmospheric and wedded to acoustic drones, with Blondy’s styling inside and outside the keyboard, is put to good use alongside the abrasive alto and soprano saxophone vibrations of Mulhouse’s Bertrand Gauguet and the alternately dissonant and legato stokes of Toulouse-based cellist Martine Altenburger. MORE

April 16, 2012

Altenburger/Blondy/Gauguet

Vers L’île Paresseuse
Creative Sources CS 182 CD

Frédéric Blondy & DJ Lenar

Play Mauricio Kagel’s Ludwig van

Bolt BR POP02

Departures from the concentrated minimalism that characterizes the Hubbub quintet, his longest lasting musical affiliation, Paris-based pianist Frédéderic Blondy is involved with much different strategies on these releases.

Still in the Free Music zone, Vers L’île Paresseuse is atmospheric and wedded to acoustic drones, with Blondy’s styling inside and outside the keyboard, is put to good use alongside the abrasive alto and soprano saxophone vibrations of Mulhouse’s Bertrand Gauguet and the alternately dissonant and legato stokes of Toulouse-based cellist Martine Altenburger. 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 (www.jazzword.com )

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 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

March 28, 2009

HumaNoise Congress #20

Wiesbaden Germany
September 26 – 28, 2008

Like an improvised music version of TV’s Survivor – although no one gets voted off the stage – the participants in HumaNoise Congress (HNC) #20, held in Wiesbaden Germany, about 16 kilometers from Frankfurt, had three days in which to discover each others’ talents and technical skills. Unlike the reality show however, the players don’t form alliances among themselves, but instead are organized into different combinations throughout the sessions to see what unexpected sonic sparks could be struck. It’s a testament to the musicians’ listening skills and familiarity with extended techniques that so many one-of-a-kind meetings were so memorable. MORE

November 20, 2008

Frédéric Blondy/Thomas Lehn

Obdo
Another Timbre at07

Audio editing and shading expand the canvas on which French pianist Frédéric Blondy and German analogue synthesizer player Thomas Lehn aurally paint resonating variations on many themes here. Although timbres from Blondy’s keyboard are routed through the mechanism of Lehn’s contraption, the resulting shading, dynamics and spectralism still depend on the acoustic prowess and control of both musicians.

Seamlessly melding a fragment of an earlier concert into “Pooq”, the performance, is sonically multi-hued. Stopping and slapping his instrument’s internal strings, Blondy also alternates external key-picking and note-chiming. Eventually his emphasis on crystalline single notes is spatially underscored by Lehn’s triggered pulsations and driven vibrations MORE

November 17, 2008

mikado im innerklavier

20. HumaNoise Congress
Tage Improvisierter Musik in Wiesbaden

[English below]

Sinn und Zweck eines Kongresses ist es, lebendige Interaktion zwischen den Mitgliedern einer Gruppe zu ermöglichen. In diesem Sinne war der dreitägige HumaNoise Congress im Wiesbadener Kunsthaus ein voller Erfolg. Zum 20. Male hatte die Kooperative New Jazz im September 2008 10 internationale Musiker zu einem langen Wochenende mit öffentlichen Proben und Konzerten eingeladen.

Die klanglichen Errungenschaften der großen (Tutti) und verschiedenen kleineren Besetzungen sind um so bemerkenswerter, als alle Teilnehmer sich der Freien Improvisation widmen. Musikalisch immer auf des Messers Schneide balancierend, ohne Partitur oder vorgefassten Plan, vertrauten die Spieler ihrer Vorstellungskraft gepaart mit technischer Versiertheit, um gehaltvoll miteinander zu kommunizieren. MORE

July 15, 2008

Grosse Abfahrt

Erstes Luftschiff zu Kalifornien
Creative Sources CS 065 CD

Grosse Abfahrt

Everything that Disappears

Emanem 4146

Named for a German dirigible that in 1908 crashed near Berkeley, Calif. during an unsuccessful demonstration of its potential as trans-oceanic liner, both of Grosse Abfahrt’s CDs are organized around more successful European-American interfaces.

Undoubtedly it’s because the only air being distilled here are the currents propelled from the eight instruments on Erstes Luftschiff zu Kalifornien and the nine on Everything that Disappears. Also more in keeping with 21st Century improvisation, the fuel of choice – besides the musicians’ inventiveness – is electricity, not hydrogen gas. Plus, as opposed to brief duration and subsequent crash of inventor John Morrell’s disastrous flight, only one improvisation on either intriguing set is less than three minutes in length. Most clock in around the 10-minute mark, with the first disc’s “interkontinentale luftschiffahrt” proceeding for almost 19 minutes while the other session’s “geometric undulating driveway symmetrical, all the road of masters” unrolls for nearly 39 minutes. Depending on traffic, the later probably is likely a longer time-frame then it takes to drive between San Francisco and Berkeley. MORE

January 9, 2008

Jazz à Mulhouse gives a loving French kiss to Improvised music

By Ken Waxman
For CODA Issue 337

Impressive saxophone and reed displays were the focus of the 24th Edition of Jazz à Mulhouse in France in late August. Overall however, most of the 19 performances maintained a constant high quality. This may have something to do with the fact that unlike larger, flashier and more commercial festivals, Jazz à Mulhouse (JAM) is an almost folksy showcase for improvisation.

Located less than 20 minutes away by train from Basel, Switzerland, Mulhouse is a mid-sized city of 150,000 in eastern France long known as an industrial textile centre. Low-key, JAM is rather like the Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville (FIMAV), with better restaurants. 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

November 17, 2003

FREDERIC BLONDY/LÊ QUAN NINH

Exaltatio utriusque mundi
Potlatch P 203

LÊ QUAN NINH
Le Ventre Négatif
Meniscus MNSCS 011

Hands down the most impressive percussionist who moves between the twin poles of improvisation and New music, Lê Quan Ninh is as unflappable in a solo situation as in collaboration.

Perhaps it’s because the emblematic array of objects that can be hit, caressed or manipulated with which he performs allows him to be self-sufficiently musical. Yet, as these two CDs, recorded within the same month in 2001 show, with the right partner, he has no need to be a one-man band. 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