Sunday, October 6, 2013

Journal Intime Extension des Feux Neuklang 2013

A genre bending trio that takes improvisational music to the next dimension of sound.
Brent Black /

Right off the bat one can not help make draw comparisons if only to communicate an artistic framework that may best encapsulate this most eclectic of trios. For those well versed in American improvisational and popular music, imagine if Gil Goldstein had arranged the The Chicago Transit Authority. The third release from Journal Intime, Extension des feux takes a lyrical bent  free jazz approach to their compositions and then morphs into a trio with an organic yet accessible pop music riff on rock influenced contemporary music more commonly found in the United States. What makes this hybrid incredibly cutting edge is that the instrumentation consists of trumpet, bass saxophone and trombone.

Essentially the release is a work of three suites divided into three movements within the first two movements and two contained in the final movement. Their previous release shattered the improvisational glass ceiling with a delightful riff on Jimi Hendrix and now we find an orchestral approach to a free improvisational style while never utilizing more than five instruments at any given time. Guest artists Marc Ducret on guitar and Vincent Peirani provide a spatial counterpoint while the virtuoso talent of this three horn trio rivals any similar ensemble working in America with the notable exception being there is none! Sylvain Bardiau, Frederic Gastard, and Matthias Mahler on trumpet, bass saxophone, and trombone respectively are simply exquisite.

Orage a Tonnerre opens this stunning recording and develops an amazing harmonic pulse while a subtle dynamic tension gently guides the listener in its wake. Billowy, haunting and a masterful manipulation of tone and texture creates an almost ambient like quality from brass and winds. The lyrical flow and counterpoint seem to be de-constructed and re-imagined almost simultaneously in presentation. As I have continued my sonic journey, I have with the exception of one never encountered a release of such imaginative creativity and focus. This trio plays in three different melodic directions simultaneous but with a harmonic synergy that is mind blowing. They do not burn the proverbial candle at both ends, they start in the middle.  

Extension des Feux is not a typical release but an experience to be relished.

Tracks: Orage a Tonnerre (1,2,3); Chroid (1,2,3); Les 38 Lunes (7,8).
Personnel: Sylvain Bardiau: Trumpet; Frederic Gastard: Bass Saxophone; Matthias Mahler: Trombone
Guests: Marc Ducret: Guitar, Vincent Peirani: Accordion.