Lost Hearts

Fine small-group free improvisation on Solution N° 5 (LFDS RECORDS LFDS 006), credited to Pavillon Rouge – an ad-hoc trio comprising trombonist Matthias Mahler, trumpeter Nicolas Souchal, and Jean-Marc Foussat with his electronic set-up. We always enjoy the combination of electronic music with brass instruments in a free jazz / improv setting, and this record is a valuable contribution to that particular lineage. On ‘Vie Libre’, for instance, what’s striking is the way the brass players are executing runs, fills and complex lines worthy of a dancing nymph in an enchanted forest, so delicate are their movements; while Foussat remains the voice of the implacable machine, sternly issuing non-human drones and churning passages of a malevolent nature.

On another level, if you simply enjoy unusual sound pairings then this record satisfies, particularly on certain passages of ‘Transistors Mutins’, where the synth work verges on shifting into an alien language chattered out on a typewriter from a Jovian satellite. Against this strange tongue, the ‘bone and bugle are trying to hold a conversation that’s like lost birds calling out to each other from both sides of a forlorn lake in the fog. ‘Coeurs De Vierges’ is another triumph, on which Jean-Marc is (I think) playing loops of voices to create a ghostly choir effect; Ligeti and Messiaen would have been proud of what he’s doing to contribute to avant-garde religious music, which is how I for one read this track with its title which has more than a whiff of the Catholic church breathing down its neck. Mahler and Souchal play a joint riposte to this semi-sacred mood with the rudest raspberries and quacking effects they can squeeze out of their bells, at times verging on the comic.

Franpi Barriaux provides the sleeve note, addressing this threesome as “flibustiers”, an archaic term which in the French dictionary denotes a buccaneer, a soldier of fortune type; inviting us to regard this music as a spirited “raid” on modern music and good taste. From 5th July 2018.

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