Reviews that mention François Tusques

July 17, 2014


La Jungle du Douquanier Rousseau
Improvising Beings IB 24

Foussat, Guérineau & McPhee


Fou Records FR-CD 05

All types of creative music are populated with unsung heroes, no more so than Free Jazz. Never a popular exercise, experimental improvising by definition has attracted those who value discovery over fortune and fame and are unafraid to be mocked for not taking easier, better-paying path. Someone who is gifted with enough intestinal fortitude to stay true to himself is tenor saxophonist Sylvain Guérineau, 67, who lives in a Paris suburb and is also a painter and teacher. Someone whose initial recorded efforts were in the company of Free Jazz legends such as drummer Sunny Murray, trumpeter Jac Berrocal and others, since the millennium he’s often recorded with Paris-based engineers/electronics whiz Jean-Marc Foussat as well, as with younger sound experimenters such as Bordeaux percussionist Didier Lasserre. MORE

June 13, 2013

Label Spotlight:

Improvising Beings
By Ken Waxman

A combination of altruism, friendship and obsession are behind Paris’ Improvising Beings (IB) label, which in less than four years has produced 20 CDs, featuring a cross section of deeply committed French, American and Japanese sound experimenters. Many more discs will appear in the next few months, because as artistic director Julien Palomo says: “I’m not producing records. I am documenting lives at a particular moment.”

Palomo, whose day job is head of student cultural affairs at Paris’ Sciences Po, began documenting free jazz a decade ago when he became friends with American alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons. Within a couple of years he, Michel Kristof and Roy Morris established Hello World! Simmons’ Web site, and began offering downloads of Simmons’ sessions. Then the group started burning limited edition CD-Rs that Simmons could sell at gigs. “We found ourselves spending nights in my kitchen burning CD-Rs, pushing the inkjet printer to its limits and assembling things. But by April 2008 we were all a bit tired of the DIY method and I quit for a year,” he recalls. MORE

November 16, 2012

Sonny Simmons/François Tusques

Near the Oasis
Improvising Beings ib10

Silke Eberhard/Dave Burrell


Jazzwerkstatt JW 112

One European and one American musician face off on these live duo sessions, each of which matches a woodwind player with a pianist. While the results are equally simpatico, the couplings couldn’t be more dissimilar.

For a start Near the Oasis, recorded at New York’s Vision Festival, features two veterans of the Free Jazz wars performing together for the first time in North America on a program of mostly reconstituted Bop classics. The saxophonist/English hornist is Louisiana-born Sonny Simmons, 79, who was part of the New Thing in the early 1960s, and has lived in France for the past decade. His partner is Paris-based pianist François Tusques, who came to Free Jazz around the same time as Simmons, and over the years has played with a clutch of memorable European and American innovators. MORE

December 20, 2011

François Tusques/Noel McGhie

Improvising Beings ib02

Undeservedly even more obscure than the second rank of American New Thingers, French musicians who played Free Jazz close to home in the mid-1960s have almost completely vanished from conventional musical histories. At least Yanks and the occasional non-American sideman recorded for ESP-Disk or alongside Jazz Heroes.

Like their associates elsewhere in Europe however, some of the French stylists weren’t content playing second fiddle –sometimes literally – to Yanks and sought a more distinctive style. When the so-called Free Jazz was declared a passé craze by the taste arbitrators, some Gallic experimenters turned to playing more conventional Jazz, Rock or out-and-out commercial sounds to make a living. Some gave up music altogether; at least one – clarinetist Michel Portal – became famous creating notated and film music. Yet another, on the evidence of this CD, is still improvising at the same high standard he was almost 50 years ago. MORE