Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paul Van Gysegem Sextet - Aorta [Futura Marge]

Patrick De Groote - trumpet, flugelhorn
Nolle Neels - tenor saxophone
Ronald Lecourt - vibes
Jasper Van 't Hof - piano
Paul Van Gysegem - double bass
Pierre Courbois - drums

1971/2011 Futura Records

Peter Brotzmann's landmark recording "Machine Gun" was released in 1968 - somehow a birth certificate of new european music - inspired by 'new thing' in american jazz, but rooted heavily in all the traditions of euroepean avant-garde movements. This cd is a testimony of how rich and active and vital was the improvised music scene in Europe at that time.
Now apart from this Jasper Van Hof (his first contribution to an LP) and Pierre Curbois (a pioneer of free jazz in Holland) the players appearing on this cd are fairly anonymous to me, especially the leader of the group. Which, as I see it, makes this re-release even more welcomed. 

While listening to this cd I felt an excitement one feels when abondoning the old rules and habits is discovering something new and unexpected, although it's still isn't very clear what it will be. Free-jazz influences like the Don Cherry'esque trumpet solos by Patrick De Groote or the Ronald Leocourt vibraphone playing are met by raw and brutal tenor saxophone shouts (courtesy of Nolle Neels) and atonal, sharp chords and arpeggios on the piano (Jasper Van Hof). All that while the thunderous rolls on drums and the bass add the fire to keep those two elements at constant charge mode. I'd like to call it improvisation dialectics.
With all that being said the music is dense, packed with sudden twists, boiling with tension and energy, storming through free explosions and flowing through moments of sudden silent reflection. Recommended to all who appreciated the pure energy of avant-music expression combined with the intellectual challenge of the abstract. 
Many thanks for making this chapter of improvised music history available again (or for many listeners like me, for the first time really). A valid document of the particular moment in the european free music evolution - right before it cut the umbillical cord  connecting it to its roots in jazz music, entering the world of total possibility and uninhibited freedom. A great addition to the collection of any fan of raw and wild improvisation.


  1. txs for these nice comments.
    I'm happy to discover yr blog which is very interesting!Congratulations.
    Patrick De Groote

  2. Two weeks ago I've received a present from Belgium. I've ask a friend that visited his parents to buy me some discs (I live in Argentina), and a friend of him sent me "Aorta".
    All he said to me is "It's an important record".
    Now I see your post, and Mr. De Groote comment, and I want to thank both, for making such incredible music, and for promoting it.
    Omar Grandoso


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