Reviews that mention Valentin Ceccaldi

October 16, 2016

Joëlle Léandre 10

Can You Hear Me?
Ayler Records AYLCD-146

Never content to stand still – often literally – French double bassist Joëlle Léandre’s music can be likened to the epistemological studies of pre-modern scientists. From her beginnings she didn’t feel that mastery of any one discipline meant she had to abjure from others. She demonstrated that by sidestepping from interpreting scores to improvising. During almost four decades she has usually expressed her skills in smaller ensembles. Now with Can You Hear Me she has turned to a large scale composition, played by a 10-piece orchestra. MORE

January 1, 2016

Walabix

Invite Maris
BeCoq 09

Cuir

Chez Ackenbush

Fou Records FR-CD 08

Despite easing into the 21st Century, the Jazz business still operates in a similar fashion to Hollywood with Americentrism paramount. Foreign musicians exist, but only if they play with Americans or have moved to the United States. Meanwhile like unique wild flowers that only spout in native soils, improvisers are coming to maturity in their own countries. Take France for instance. Although Cuir and Walabix are ensembles staffed with young French musicians, both are little known outside the Gallic borders. MORE

July 26, 2015

Marcel et Solange Invite Samuel Blaser

Tomate et parapluie
TrioCollectif Trio CD 4

Utilizing the blustery timbres from versatile Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser to add ballast to a program of originals, the young French trio (sic) Marcel et Solange aims for more dramatic contrasts on their newest CD. Together since 2011, saxophonist/clarinetist Gabriel Lemaire, cellist Valentin Ceccaldi and drummer Florian Satche ably demonstrate that like outstanding cooking and eccentric politicians, musical invention and experimentation are still at a premium in France.

Well-integrated in a group identity, the three are also part of the 10-member Trio Collectif – there seems to be a pattern here – which like similar national associations spend time moving in and out of each other’s bands. This sense of familiarity may be the set’s limitation however as the foursome runs through the nine originals, all composed by either Lemaire or Ceccaldi. As a trio Marcel et Solange express musical closeness. But the vivid aural colors expressed by Blaser’s technical skill appear to call for more rhythmic and melodic tinctures on the trio’s part which aren’t forthcoming. So like bucolic pictures hanging on the wall of a comfortable parlor, the majority of the tunes on this CD end up being shaded in neutral pastels. That’s probably also why the saxophonist’s “Marceline” makes such a forceful impression. A tango borne along on guitar-like plucking from Ceccaldi and with a clarinet lead as clean as rustic air space, it almost doesn’t need the additional hues provided by Blaser’s mellow grace notes. MORE

August 1, 2014

Festival Report

Jazzdor-Strasbourg-Berlin 2014
By Ken Waxman

The KulturBrauerei’s music space Kesselhaus in East Berlin was a fitting site for the eighth annual Jazzdor-Strasbourg-Berlin (JSB) festival June 3-6. With jazz and improvised music’s universality now a given, a festival presenting mostly French jazz taking place in what had been one of Berlin’s oldest breweries, now repurposed from industrial to artistic use, doesn’t seem that much of a stretch.

Overall its all-inclusive musical theme was confirmed by the programming of JSB’s artistic director Philippe Ochem and his team, which already host Strasbourg’s annual Jazzdor festival. Over four nights, JSB presented musician from different parts of Germany, Belgium and the US plus proudly delineated Basque and Corsican players, all of whom worked with improvisers from France’s major musical centres. MORE

May 14, 2014

Théo Ceccaldi Trio +1

Can You Smile?
Ayler Records AYLCD 136

Uri Caine Ensemble

Rhapsody in Blue

Winter & Winter 910.905-2

Samo Salamon & Slovene Philharmonic String Chamber Orchestra

Free Strings Orchestrology

KGOSF VD 013

Nils Wogram & Root 70 with strings

Riomar

Wog Records 007

Vijay Iyer

Mutations

ECM CD 2372

Something In The Air: Innovative Writing for Strings and Improvisers

By Ken Waxman

As genres draw closer to one another, the idea of a musician from one area playing and composing a work in another area doesn’t seem so far-fetched. More importantly the sophistication of many contemporary performers means that these inter-genre excursions are triumphant rather than merely passable. One form that is being explored by improvised musicians for instance is composing for the bedrock of the so-called classical music tradition: string groupings. MORE