Friday, June 01, 2007

LES ALLUMES du JAZZ, Festival in Paris

LES ALLUMES DU JAZZ is an association of 44 small jazz labels from across France--it's also a newspaper, packed with reviews, listings of new albums, editorial comment on the state of jazz, music,'s a bit of a rant, in a good way. And this past Tuesday, they were celebrating the launch of issue #19 (that's Sylvie Fontaine's cover of the new issue there), with a great evening at Le Triton. now, i've been hearing good things about les Tritons for ages but like a lot of people in Paris, i'm lazy, it takes a special event to lure me out to the suburbs...and Tuesday's "LES ALLUMES DU SOLO" was exactly that kind of event.

first of all: now I know that Le Triton is barely in the suburbs, it's a 2-minute walk from metro Mairie des Lilas & it couldn't be easier to get to. second, the cafe/restaurant area is fantastic...i wish i'd arrived a few hours earlier, to hang out on the terrasse and chat with different i'll be going back.

for Tuesday's ALLUMES, nine musicians, each with a new album out, were allotted a 15 -to-20 minute solo (most stuck around for a jam together at the end)...musically all over the map, including Michele Buirette's accordion chanson, chilled DJ Frank Vigroux (yes, the guitarist, in different mode), and Samson Schmitt's manouche guitar. But for me, the Allumes labels are most interesting when they take risks, like Christophe Rocher--with his very spiritual & lovely bass clarinet solo--and like the unstoppable improvisations of Edward Perraud. i love percussionists who can share the energy it takes to play drums, who can make us hear what they hear--his solo "batterie" was a real high point, that line where jazz, contemporary experimentation, and sheer fun all mash together to open up your ears and your head.

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