Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Daunik Lauzro / Joelle Leandre - Hasparren [No Business]

Daunik Lazro - baritone sax
Joelle Leandre - double bass, voice

No Business Records 2013

This is one for those who love low tones and deep timbres. Baritone sax and double bass in the hands of Daunik Lazro and Joelle Leandre sound like a meeting of two soulmates. The two has played together, in various settings, for over 30 years now.
This is adventurous dialogue, many topics, many insights, thera are moments of heated discussion as well as intimate confessions. Leandre's arco can be delicate and fragile, or dense, bursting with restrained power. Lazro focuses often of the timbral effects, the microtonal vibrations of the air within the metal structure. 
The introduction to the fourth piece has him carving slowly the tones, exploring the vibrato in low and high registers, overtones, joins with dramatic attack on strings, rumbling, percussive tones, and sharp arco in parallel to the baritone cries, more daring with each phrase. The piece reaches its turn when Leandre introduces a solemn majestic melody as baritone gladly provides a harmonic bass-anchor, in fact they swith the melodic roles freely throughout the whole album. The delicate melody, the sorrow coda by the baritone is a piece of poetic beauty. 
Baritone and double bass might look heavy, clumsy or one-dimensional on many other occasions, but when those two are yielding the instruments, they are medium of grace and majesty. Grace of the gentle overtones Leandre plays in the solo "Hasparren V". Majesty of baritone's deep and powerful voice. Power of trembling low arco note. And the dangerous element of unexpected and wild (all elements exemplified in the final improvisation on the album "Hasparren VI"). 

This is is daring music, wholly invested in the moment, rich in texture, imaginative, intimate and profoundly emotional, heart-felt. A sound castle. Many thanks to Catherine Luro who invited the duo to Hasparren so it could be built, to Jean-Marc Foussat who captured the moment beautifully before the silence wiped it out and to No Business who made it available for the others. Magnificent release. 

As I can't findy any duo pieces on the web, you can enjoy Lazro's solo improvisation:

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