Reviews that mention Antonin Gerbal

March 8, 2021

Bertrand Denzler & Antonin Gerbal

Umlaut UMFR CD 33

Colin Webster/Andrew Lisle

New Invention

New Wave of Jazz nwoj0037

Demonstrating once again the sheer exhilaration that can be engendered in a free-form setting by just two committed improvisers are these saxophone-drum sessions. Unconstrained by melody, pitch or length, alto saxophonist Colin Webster and drummer Andrew Lisle of the UK and tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and drummer Antonin Gerbal of France create aggressive programs that are literally breathtaking and percussive. Yet both duos are sophisticated enough so that ferocious doesn’t mean formless. MORE

January 21, 2021

NPR 15th Annual Jazz Critics Poll: 2020

American Website
Ken Waxman’s Ballot

Ken Waxman (Jazz Word)


1. Virtual Company, Virtual Company (Confront)

2. Edward "Kidd" Jordan-Joel Futterman-William Parker-Hamid Drake, A Tribute to Alvin Fielder: Live at Vision Festival XXIV (Mahakala Music)

3. Urs Blöchlinger Revisited, Harry Doesn't Mind (Leo)

4. Jason Kao Hwang, Human Rites Trio (True Sound)

5. Liquid Quintet, Bouquet (Sirulita -19)

6. ROPE [Frank Paul Schubert-Uwe Oberg-Paul Rogers-Mark Sanders], Open Ends (Trouble in the East) MORE

August 28, 2019


Umlaut Records umcd 0030

Pat Thomas/John Butcher/Ståle Liavik Solberg

Fictional Souvenirs

Astral Spirits MF 191/AS 088

Equally proficient expressing his ideas on piano or with electronics, the UK’s Pat Thomas appears to have developed conflicting Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-like strategies for either acoustic or processing improvisations. On Metaphor for instance, Thomas who has worked with everyone from Derek Bailey to Spring Heel Jack, fully assimilates the role of a pianist commuted to swinging FreeBop, assisted by Swedish bassist Joel Grip and French drummer Antonin Gerbal. The six remembrances displayed on Fictional Souvenirs however meld the oscillated jitters and wiggling wave forms from Thomas’ Moog Theremini and IPad-based electronics with the distinctive reed facility of fellow Londoner soprano and tenor saxophonist John Butcher and percussion sprawls from Norwegian drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg. MORE

February 1, 2019

Umlaut Big Band

The King of Bungle Bar
Umlaut Records UMFR CD 29

Leave it to the French. At least that’s the sentiment that should be expressed when listening to this sophisticated and swinging 74-minute CD. Lead by alto saxophonist Pierre-Antoine Badaroux, the 14-piece Paris-based Umlaut Big Band has created a proper salute to American composer/arranger/alto saxophonist Don Redman (1900-1964), who more than any other individual was responsible for creating the historic big band sound of the first third of the 20th Century.

Although he also led his own band, it was Redman’s 1920s and 1930s arrangements for first Fletcher Henderson’s band then McKinney’s Cotton Pickers that he is best remembered and the Gallic aggregation runs through brief versions of his “hits”. Adding versions of arrangements Redman also did for the likes of Count Basie and Jimmy Dorsey, Badaroux expands the understanding of Redman’s artistic facility by having the band play several tunes he transcribed for it from manuscript in the arranger’s papers stored in the New York Public Library. MORE

May 18, 2017

Bertrand Denzler/Antonin Gerbal/Axel Dörner

Le Ring
Confront CCS 65

More a scrutiny of sound then storytelling, the unbroken 41-minute improvisation that is Le Ring is like inspiring but untitled non-figurative visual art. Not only can you observe the skill that went into applying the thickening ridges of paint and line organization in a vital fashion, but the non-specific inscription allows you to ascribe an array of meanings to the art. Elsewhere Berlin-based trumpeter Axel Dörner plus tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and percussionist Antonin Gerbal, both of Paris, have confirmed that they can easily play straight-ahead Jazz. But this session has its origin in the timbral exploration and transformative parameters related to solo investigations and other group projects such as Denzler’s involvement in the Hubbub quintet and Dörner’s membership in the Contests of Pleasure trio. MORE

August 16, 2015

Bertrand Denzler/Antonin Gerbal

Umlaut UMFR-CD 12

Michel Doneda/Lê Quan Ninh


Vand'œuvre vdo 1542

Unbridled yet relaxed discs from two French reeds-percussion duos, these CDs also indicate how deeply the concept of pure improvisation is embedded in Gallic musical consciousness. Like a succulent plant that only has to be fertilized occasionally, this commitment to musical spontaneity has now lasted several generations. Soprano and sopranino saxophonist Michel Doneda and percussionist Lê Quan Ninh have been involved with aleatoric sounds since at least the mid-1980s, while tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler –who is actually Swiss – and drummer Antonin Gerbal are part of the crop of improvisers who have come to the fore in this century. MORE

May 29, 2014


Volumes a+b
Umlaut Records umfr-cd08

Although it consists of two members of the minimalist-propelled Hubbub quintet and one from the Bop revivalist Peeping Tom group, Zoor is a more distinct proposition. Putting aside their microtonal tendencies, Hubbub’s tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and guitarist Jean-Sébastien Mariage join Peeping Tom drummer Antonin Gerbal to create two dense extended improvisations permeated with undercurrents of menace and doom. Augmenting the textural thickening, the drummer also trades specific modern Jazz-like ruffs and rim shots for an accumulation of plops and ruffs, which sometimes appear to clot into unbreakable rigidity. MORE

November 8, 2013

Festival Report

Crak Festival Paris
By Ken Waxman

Completed in the mid-16th Century in the flamboyant gothic style, the mammoth and solid Eglise St-Merry characterizes the Beauborg area on the right bank of Paris as much as the nearby ornate 19th century Hôtel de Ville and the brutalist, high-tech architecture of 1977’s Centre Georges Pompidou. During the second annual Crak Festival September 26-29 however, St-Merry’s musty arches, pulpits and 30-foot-high ceilings served as an unexpected backdrop for sounds from the 20th and 21st centuries and beyond. MORE

February 2, 2013

Pierre-Antoine Badaroux

Composition No. 6
Umlaut Records umfrcd-06

Yoni Kretzmer’s 2 Bass Quartet


OutNow Records ONR 008

Using the textures of two double basses to enhance the rhythmic and descriptive qualities of ensembles has its antecedents in both large group and combo music of the mid-1960s onwards. However common usage is limited by the necessity of finding sympathetic bull fiddlers, not to mention economies of scale. These CDs – one mostly French, the other mostly American – demonstrate how two basses can be utilized in different contexts. Unsurprisingly neither sounds remotely like the other. MORE

June 15, 2012

Peeping Tom

Umlaut Records umfr-002

Viktor Tóth

Popping Bopping

Budapest Music Center Records BMC CD 191

Decoding Jazz’s history so that it’s relevant for contemporary musicians has become one of the concerns of this century. While it’s obvious that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it – in an inferior fashion – conversely those who know only history can’t contribute to the music’s evolution.

With the same quartet instrumentation, saxophonist Viktor Tóth’s combo and the Peeping Tom group have come up with CDs that attempt to fashion Bop-influenced sounds according to their own concepts. Both bands are Pan-European, which in itself says something about dealing with a music that was almost 100% American-dominated until the end of the 20th century. However each is recalculating the tradition according to its own ideas. Boperation takes 10 Bop and Hard Bop standards and subtly reconfigures them with post-modern interpretations. Popping Bopping is another matter. While the six tunes here are all originals by Budapest-based alto saxophonist Tóth, most of the time the combo voicing and arrangements sound almost identical to that of post-Bop alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman’s quartet with trumpeter Don Cherry circa 1960-1962. MORE

October 1, 2010

Peeping Tom

File Under: Bebop
Umlaut [lc-umcd01]

Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things

Stories and Negotiations

482 Music 482-1070

Respect for the Jazz tradition runs in cycles. In the early 1970s when Jazz-Rock Fusion claimed popular attention, it seemed that the only young musicians interested in tradition were so-called avant-gardists such as reedist Anthony Braxton and the Air trio. During the next decade when the musical Reganites appeared, Jazz standards had to be recreated in a certain style and were part of their protected turf. Now that many of the neo-cons have adopted hip-hop moves or concentrate on mainstream styled originals, the tradition has been jettisoned along with fade haircuts. Who is left to keep the tradition going then? Surprise, it’s the experimental musicians again. MORE