L'imperfait des langues

Louis Sclavis

Featured Artists Recorded

April 2005, Studios La Buissonne, Pernes les Fontaines

Original Release Date

19.01.2007

  • 1Premier imparfait "a"
    (Louis Sclavis, Paul Brousseau)
    01:46
  • 2L'idée du dialecte
    (Louis Sclavis)
    06:57
  • 3Premier imparfait "b"
    (Louis Sclavis, Paul Brousseau)
    01:01
  • 4Le verbe
    (Louis Sclavis)
    06:42
  • 5Dialogue with a dream
    (Louis Sclavis)
    03:59
  • 6Annonce
    (Louis Sclavis)
    01:40
  • 7Archéologie
    (Louis Sclavis)
    06:12
  • 8Deuxième imparfait
    (Louis Sclavis)
    02:16
  • 9Convocation
    (Maxime Delpierre)
    01:16
  • 10Palabre
    (Louis Sclavis)
    04:00
  • 11Le long du temps
    (Louis Sclavis)
    05:30
  • 12L'écrit sacrifié
    (Louis Sclavis)
    02:25
  • 13Story of a phrase
    (Louis Sclavis)
    07:32
  • 14L'imparfait des langues
    (Louis Sclavis)
    03:57
Jazzman, Choc du mois
Jazz Magazine, Disque d'émoi
Stereoplay, Die Audiophile
 
There’s a driving, brooding intensity to L’imparfait des langues that makes it Louis Sclavis’ hippest album yet. Veering between Ornette, Dolphy, M-Base and Sonic Youth, this dark collection premieres a new ensemble. Saxophonist Marc Baron makes for a powerful, acerbic Steve Coleman-like foil to Sclavis’ masterful bass clarinet playing. Meanwhile guitarist Maxime Delpierre adds a provocative edge throughout, whether it’s the raw Miles funk of ‘Story of a Phase’ or the slow, twisted title track. … Another star of the session is drummer François Merville, a true find and worthy of a quality project such as this.
Tom Barlow, Jazzwise
 
L’imparfait des langues, conceived for Monte Carlo’s Printemps des Arts festival, shows French clarinettist/saxophonist Louis Sclavis casting off of his usual working methods, inviting three younger guests and exploring the territory opened up by funk, ambient music, guitars, electric keys and samples. But, since it’s Sclavis, it’s a very long way from drivetime airplay. L’idee Du Dialecte bookends a sound like Jack Johnson-era Miles and Steve Coleman with a whirling folkdance, some pieces are simply hushed two-horn meditations or didgeridoo-like reveries, some are avant-boppish, some free-ambient, some hard-rocking and guitar-led. Wonderful themes, scaldingly played. It’s an album of the year contender, for sure.
John Fordham, The Guardian
 
French multi-reedman Sclavis surrounds himself here with young players of diverse approaches; it should be all over the place stylistically, particularly with a group so new the paint isn’t yet dry, but it works. Free improve, rock guitar, sampling, electronics, funky, swinging echoes of bop, sounds that recall a muezzin’s summons to prayer of Aboriginal didgeridoo – all emerge from this exciting band.
Ray Comiskey, Irish Times
 
Sclavis spielt mit seinen Instrumenten wie ein Maler mit Pinsel und Stiften. Er formt und verformt, färbt, und er vermag es musikalische Landschaften als Stillleben zu präsentieren und gleichermaßen mit energiegeladener Spannung zu füllen. Sein Spiel wirkt träumerisch und poetisch, sogar in freieren Passagen, die den Baustein dieses modernen Jazz vollkommen machen. ... Aus Vorhandenem etwas Neues zu formen und zur Eigenständigkeit zu führen, das ist es doch, was den Jazz einst zum Leben erweckte. Sclavis übersetzt diesen Prozess in das Hier und Jetzt und schafft damit eine sehr gelungene Jazz-CD, mit welcher der Franzose erneut beweist, dass er zu den besten Europas gehört.
Jannek Roland Meyer, Jazzpodium
 
Der klassisch ausgebildete französische Klarinettist, Bassklarinettist und Sopransaxophonist Louis Sclavis steht in der Regel für gepflegte, intellektuelle Kammermusik am Rande des Jazz. Auf seiner neuen CD überrascht der 53-jährige Lyoner jedoch mit energetischen, elektrifizierten Sounds – und mit einer Freude an der Innovation, die an den späten Miles Davis erinnert. ... Sclavis...nahm die vorliegende CD an einem einzigen Tag auf. Wohl nicht zuletzt deshalb ist sie von jenem Geist der Neugier und des Aufbruchs beseelt, der den Jazz im Innersten zusammenhält.
Manfred Papst, Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag
 
Louis Sclavis findet zurück zum Jazz, zum Rhythmus, zur puren improvisatorischen Form. Sein neues Quintett sprüht nur so Funken, groovt, tänzelt, überschwemmt den Hörer mit gewaltigen Energiewellen und virtuoser Kraft. Rockige Gitarren liefern den scharfkantigen Rahmen, sphärische Ambientklänge den vagen Raum, in dem seine Klarinette schwebt, kreischt, röhrt, mäandert oder gebetsmühlenartig zirkuliert. ... Weil das gallische Chamäleon schon immer das Flair der Instrumente und den Charakter ihrer Bediener an seiner Seite absorbierte, klingt er auf wundersame Weise unverbraucht.
Reinhard Köchl, Jazzthing
 
Es gibt nur wenige Musiker, die schon so lange im zeitgenössischen Musikgeschehen mitwirken wie Louis Sclavis. Dennoch steckt jede seiner Neuveröffentlichungen stets voller Überraschungen. Die Erklärung dafür ist simpel: Der französische Klarinettist scheut sich nicht, den sicheren Boden bewährter Erfolge zu verlassen und sich immer wieder in das Abenteuer eines Neuanfangs zu stürzen.
... Das kreative Potential der Gruppe zeigt sich in jedem der insgesamt vierzehn Titel. Auf die weiteren Abenteuer dieser Individualisten darf man gespannt sein.
Gerd Filtgen, Fono Forum
 
L’Imparfait des langues contient tout l’énergie et la fraîcheur qui charactérisent l’éclosion d’un nouveau projet mais doublées d’une maturité surprenante pour un ensemble formé depuis si peu de temps. Pluralité des langages, mais unicité de la musique, ainsi pourrait se résumer la réussite de ce disque, où Sclavis parvient à fédérer autour d’un concept cohérent des personnalités musicales étonnamment diverses…
Pascal Rozat, Jazzman
 
 
 
“Confronted with the new generation, master of ceremonies Sclavis gave of his very best. We await, impatiently, this group’s ECM disc.” Philippe Robert, Jazz Magazine, November 2006

Louis Sclavis’s newest album has an unusual history. The French reedman/composer/ improviser had received a commission to premiere a new project at Monaco’s Festival Le Printemps des Arts in Monte Carlo, in April 2005. Wanting to challenge his own working habits as a composer, to bring unpredictable elements into play in the improvising, and “a new syntax” into his musical language, Sclavis decided to build a new ensemble with young players. Firebrand altoist Marc Baron for instance, a mere 23 years old at the time, came into the project as a hot tip from cellist Vincent Courtois, who had just begun working with the sax player. Keyboardist Paul Brousseau had, barely weeks before, been added to another Sclavis group, Big Napoli, (the expanded edition of the Napoli’s Walls ensemble which has recorded for ECM) and was still feeling his way into the Sclavis soundworld. With Maxim Delpierre, Sclavis had jammed just once, as a guest of the guitarist’s trio. “It was precisely because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to incorporate his way of playing that I wanted to try. He has a very unusual approach to the guitar...” As French magazine Jazzman observed: “Delpierre has certainly heard Sonny Sharrock, Glenn Branca and Sonic Youth” – overdriven, saturated guitar sounds are part of his palette.

Sclavis: “So, with the exception of (drummer) François Merville, who I’ve worked with often, these were not only players quite new to me, but musicians who did not know my work in detail either. They are all of them working in all kinds of different contexts, including experimental music and rock. None of them is a ‘pure’ jazz musician – but then, neither am I.” Sclavis sketched his compositions for “L’imparfait des langues” in ten days, leaving plenty of space for improvising, and began rehearsing his new crew in earnest. “Some of the basic musical ideas were very simple, sometimes as little as an eight- bar or sixteen bar phrase for two instrumental voices... In preparing music for this group I am definitely interested as much in sound and texture as in the melodies... Anyway: it was soon quite clear to us that we had something special with this group of players.”

Then, the day before the concert, Prince Rainier of Monaco, longest-reigning European monarch, died at the age of 81, the nation was plunged into mourning and the Sclavis performance cancelled! Primed to play and abruptly deprived of an outlet, Louis took his musicians instead into Studios la Buissonne in Pernes-les-Fontaines and recorded the music in a single day. The freshness of the results is unmistakable.

The Monte Carlo festival appearance was rescheduled for April 2006. Since then the group has been playing widely, and Sclavis is steadily writing new material for the ensemble. “The level of enthusiasm in the ensemble is very high: I think you can hear that on the CD. These are guys who really want to play. Small clubs, concerts, festivals – we don’t care – we’ll play anywhere! And the music is changing... Paul Brousseau is bringing in new colours all the time with his sounds and samples, and there is more improvising. I see a lot of development possible with this quintet, and the potential to work with these players for several years.”

YEARDATEVENUELOCATION
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