New duet

25 Apr

Things moved this times, particularly a guitar piano duet with François Lefevre and Frédéric Nissen, wich has now taken his pace, could one say. It has already been heard in a number of places, including the locally known club: “Le Chat vert” (“the green cat”) in Rouen. Let’s wish new initiatives of this kind will take place, in order to keep alive jazz tradition in normandy and of course feed today’s musical creation. Their program is based on three distinct plans: standards, bossa nova and original compositions of this two quite productive musicians. About this last subject it’s interesting to notice how far their styles are differents and that gives their sound a really large range of colors. We will come back on this aspect of their work, wich deserve on its own a whole article.

This duet is available both for concert or cocktail performance.


Jazz guitar

20 May
  • Among our numerous musical activities, let you discover today about the jazz adventures of François Lefevre, one of our earliest members.

Self-taught guitarist, deeply  disappointed and more over destabilized by jazz academic teaching in France -or, at least, in Normandy-, he rebuilt patiently his own play and approach to style as to instrument, inspiring himself from other technical conceptions like, at first, those of classical guitarists: some studies by Sor, Aguado, Carulli and Tarrega, allowed him to “convert” his right hand, previously jailed by plectrum, a restrictive implement indeed, since it reduces litteraly this hand to the use of a simple and single finger, what appears at last as a sort of musical self-mutilation.

Jazz remains neverthless his favorite repertoire. He goes back to his prefered tunes -including his own compositions- and re-arrange it for solo-guitar. This formula is, indisputably, the easier one to place, if not to handle, especially at those deep austerity times…

A live exemple -with loop effect in the second part:

A.C. Jobim’s How insensitive :

gospel album?

21 Mar
  • Why recording -when you’re a not-well-known band? On the other hand, why not to? We have been talking about it for a few month. No doubt this idea makes its way in numerous musician heads, above all in relatively quiet periods. These days, recording an album has became a paradox, especially for an independant and slight structure and this make for sure more than one to reverse. Not that the thing would be so difficult, on the technical level: today can it almost be done by each one with a piece of experience and patience, granted that you have to spent a few time on it; but at the end will it probably take quite a long time to write off seed money, cause all the same there’s one. Time, indeed, we have some at this very moment… Now the question is: an album for what? An album for whom?

First of all  is certainly, saved our unavoidable basic narcissism, wich would be totally vain to deny, a matter of image. One more paradox! Mabye that’s what the time wants… Is there a part of nostalgie in this view? No doubt a band without album has not the very same status  for us as his distinguished opposite, that’s to say the officially accomplished and serious-stamped group, with CD and sleeve at stack. “Album” is some sort of psychological frontier that makes a band move in our minds, audience and members included, from something like: “little-nice-band-that-has-fun-and-shares-his-simple-joy-with-a-more-or-less-large-friends/family/collegues/bystanders-circle”… to “band so-and-so”. Point. A kind of big visiting card, almost a diploma and maybe better: more speaking, more direct, hence more clear, substantial, elaborate, so more convicting. See there is about a stage here and not a least part of the band identity. We are all bounded -that means all that exists- in that each one is constituting himself in reflecting totallity. Identity’s mystery, that lies inescapably at every reflexion’s ground, is the art’s very object. This problem has divided so much, but it seems to us that art shall be viewed as reflection of this essentially spiritual mystery on an appropriate material element, in this case air vibration memorised on a plastic disc. To those who could astonish themselves at so natural affinity of art and music with a philosophical approach, we just have to remind that gospel is a religious feelings permeated music that should not cut itself away from any metaphysical questionning without loosing a vital part of its inspiration and reach, in short, its identity! Thus are we very well-grounded, also and even especially, to question this peculiar side of our purpose: in wich “spirit” can we get the closer to this music, understand, incorporate and hence release it?

Recording also is to express the conclusion, the realization of an artistic work and initiative. This is also setting a musical frontier: it implies to go deeper in performance, precision, demanding. We no longer simply sing, if I may say, for others, to be eared, we sing with the immediate finality to ear ourselves. Without any doubt, this particular earing will be far more embarrassed and far more embarrassing than any other and will certainly bring along loads of challenging, questioning, experimentating, to lead, in all likehood, to an upgrading of that we call, in the lack of a better word, our “work”. Then is it as an exercise that recording takes place and become occasion to confront intimately with our own practice, to better figure out assets and limits of ours, to hoit it if possible closer to ideal, valorizing ones and trying to shade off others, werever they show themselves.

So is it a full indicated stage on the path of deepness,  musically at least and probably spiritually, since it’s leading us in the very core of identity question. There is a theory, among contemporary neurologists, wich claims that music is structuring human’s brain’s evolution since ever, providing it coherence and synchronization by setting connections, hence collaboration, betwen different parts of the cerebral cortex. Appearences are not ever sincere and it is edifying at all, and even delicious, to catch science, despite hudge means, beeing preceded by literature who uses only imagination and logic, and asserts -already in 1938: “Si l’on n’avait pas d’âme, la musique l’aurait créée” (If man had no soul, music would have created it.)<a> (1) </a> . Now what is soul, save our deepest identity?

Today’s musical art can probably not miss the stage of recording, as practice and marker on the way of its identity. Singularly in a voice music, since voice is a key point to every encounter.

1.  Cioran, <em>Le crépuscule des pensées. Œuvres</em>, ed. in quarto Gallimmard p.504.

burrial gospel duet

14 Mar
  • Friendly asked to participate to a normand artist’s funeral, we could feel last monday emotion of a not so common group, with us or elsewere: the a capella duet. Choice was not ours, since our favourite soprano singer could not free herself. So  had we to adapt and handle this demanding, not to say pitiless, formula. We will not try to hide it needed a bit work and a certain health also, to be able to give out in a still tough wintery temperature, sounds wich could reasonably seem to be serious music.

So had each one to take his responsabilities and bear melody in turn. Thus was it sometimes sung by the bass, accompaniment above, and sometimes went voices back in their ordinary roles. Amazing grace even involved both formulas: this allowed us to make ear very different accompaniment as tone. Obviously, all that was offhand made and we had only a few days to be prepared. So, no doubt there was parts better than others; but what matters here is that the whole was coherent, despite relatively austere, of course. This didn’t harm to reverence, in such circumstance.


Finally, after reearing, it’s an agreable suprise, wich maybye will lead to a greater flexibility in the future. Besides, even a guitar -or another instrument- could discreetly join, in order to render fuller harmony. However can this only be an “emergency” option, could we say, because we keep deeply attached to our own way: the a capella swinging trio.

Gospel concert in Saint Gervais

14 Feb
  • gave their first concert in Saint Gervais church on the 16th december 2012. The programme consisted of spiritual, gospel and jazz pieces, completely a capella and without any amplification, in the purest vocal tradition that made the succes, never denied, of this style and culture. Along the recital, we wished to illustrate the diversity and deepness of this music, in his historical and spiritual aspects as well. We also presented an original piece from F. Lefevre wich is called: your way, and is about non-duality and ancient Hindu philosophy whom master word is “all is one, none is separate”. Also were we all along in a spiritual area; by the way, are we ever outside it?

Thanks to M. Antoine Piéplu and  the association des amis des orgues de La Madeleine et Saint Gervais de Rouen, who organized this event and paid the 63€ ransom, demanded by the sacem (french authors rights organisation) for this free entrance concert… (vive la France!)

Here are some extracts: