Thursday, August 11, 2011

Joëlle Léandre: Solo (Kadima Collective, 2011)

I am glad I heard Joëlle Léandre with SPUNK at this year´s  Molde International Jazz Festival,  and at the concert I grabbed a copy of the book "Solo" (originally in French in 2008), where Léandre speaks with journalist Franck Médioni.

We get Léandre´s thoughts on improvisation, her relationship with her instrument ("the tractor"!), the negative sides of studios and the positive sides of live playing, and the importance of playing the music of today ("No question of playing necrophilic music!"). We meet teachers and cooperators like Giaconti Scelzi, Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy, Maggie Nichols, William Parker and John Cage (se her sing and play Cage here), and a bunch of others, but she wants more women in her field of music ("Where are my sisters?").

Reading this book is like hearing the artist speak, so we get some repetitions and some abrupt jumps, but thats OK! The book is fine, and we also get a solo bass CD (recorded in 2005) and a DVD recorded at the Guelph Jazz Festival in 2009, so we may both hear and see Léandre play, and use her breath, voice and body language as extensions of the instrument.
Get the book at Kadima Collective and make sure you go to a concert when you can.

Here is a 40 minute long video from Konfrontationen 2011, where Joëlle Léandre plays both solo, and together with Marilyn Crispell, Isabelle Duthoit and Els Vandeweyer.

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