Louis Sclavis Quartet – Silk And Salt Melodies (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 62:40 minutes | 1,08 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HighResAudio.com | Digital booklet | © ECM
Leading French clarinetist-composer-improviser Louis Sclavis continues his musical adventures with Gilles Coronado and Benjamin Moussay, who contributed creatively to his Atlas Trio album Sources in 2011. The addition of Iranian classical percussionist Kevyan Chemirani, master of the zarb, has brought a new dimension to their world of sound. Adventurous contemporary music, says Sclavis, can be broad enough to embrace different but complementary traditions. “‘Silk and Salt’ indicates my desire for this work to take an imaginary, nomadic, Central Asian route, but also to address the idea of emigration in world history. In this case: journeying away from and back to jazz.” Travelling melodies and rhythms predominate. The changing contexts inspire some of Sclavis’s finest clarinet playing, captured by producer Manfred Eicher in this recording, made in Studio La Buissonne, near Avignon, in March 2014.
Louis Sclavis is one of the world’s great bass clarinet players performing in an improvised music and jazz context, his reputation long since secure particularly for such albums as Rouge and Napoli’s Walls and as a live performer of considerable artistry. This latest album from the 61-year-old Lyon-born composer featuring his use of both clarinet and bass clarinet was recorded in France back in March and features members of his Atlas trio, guitarist Gilles Coronado and pianist Benjamin Moussay, who appeared on Sources, joined here in something of a twist by Iranian percussionist Kevyan Chemirani playing zarb (goblet drum) among his choices. The concept of the album is for the music all composed by Sclavis sometimes utilising Iranian rhythms to take an imaginary nomadic central Asian route. It follows an incantatory and stimulating direction with at times challengingly stark themes that have a certain unselfconscious grandeur to them, take ‘L’homme sud’ for instance, that more than carry the listener along. Sclavis can be simply still and mysterious with minimal accompaniment at his most effective, and he’s also tender in a John Surman-like manner on opener ‘Le parfum de l’exil’. Moussay conjures dreamy sad atmospheres in the beautiful beginning of ‘L’autre rive’, one of the most evocative passages of this superb album. Coronado is adept at adding little touches that illuminate ensemble lines or jut out enough to enhance solo work from the others in the ensemble, and adds great atmosphere in informal duo with Chemirani at the beginning of ‘Sel et soie’ (‘Salt and Silk’, the title track). It’s a quite intimate thought-provoking chamber-jazz style in general with a folk-y side to it hatching most obviously on later tracks, particularly ‘Dust and Dogs’. The sounds of cicadas, is it?, or birds mixed with what sounds like distant fireworks or thunder, possibly going by the track title recorded at Prato Plage, the lake near Pernes les Fontaines where the album was recorded, eases the album to an intriguingly restful close.
01 – Le parfum de l’éxil
02 – L’homme sud
03 – L’autre rive
04 – Sel et soie
05 – Dance for Horses
06 – Des feux lointains
07 – Cortège
08 – Dust and Dogs
09 – Prato plage
Produced by Manfred Eicher. Engineered by Gérard de Haro, Romain Castera.
Recorded March 2014 Studios La Buissonne, Pernes les Fointaines.
Louis Sclavis – clarinet
Gilles Coronado – guitar
Benjamin Moussay – piano, keyboard
Keyvan Chemirani – percussion