French pianist-percussionist-composer Paul Wacrenier leads to Healing ensembles- the Unit quintet and the larger Orchestra, but both follow the legacy of the first generation of free jazz musicians: Eric Dolphy, Don Cherry, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Chris McGregor’s The Blue Notes and Brotherhood of Breath, Steve Lacy and Andrew Hill. Both ensemble share the same philosophy (and personnel): total freedom, collective sound balanced with personal initiatives and an inclusive perspective of music – especially creative, improvised music – as an art with liberating energies and social, emancipatory vision.
«Please Repeat!» is the third album of the Healing Unit, recorded live in March 2018, and features the eight-parts «The Repeat Please! Suite» by Wacrenier plus a short piece by sax player Arnaud Sacase, «La Chanson d’Albert», an emotional tribute to Albert Ayler. The unit has established its own distinct sound – urgent, vibrant and powerful, always rooted in in the rich legacy of jazz and with evocative melodies and driving rhythms. Or as Wacrenier describes it, «surprises the owners of tradition as well as the defenders of avant-garde».
You can simply enjoy the many, colorful veins of modern and free jazz schools intertwined and converge in Wacrenier’s suite and its beautiful centerpieces «Blues fo AEC» and the mysterious «Deep Night, Clear Fire» or the Ayler-ian anthem «La Chanson d’Albert». Or just marvel at the Unit engaging interplay and elegant delivery of the Healing Unit as it sends its own powerful messages about hopes, dreams and mysteries and music as the healing force of the universe. History, all histories, even the one of jazz, may not repeat itself in its full glory but you can trust the joyful energies of the Healing Unit as it pays its respect to such great heritage.
Marco Quaresimin (b), Benoist Raffin (dr), Xavier Bornens (tp), Arnaud Sacase (as), Paul Wacrenier (p, vib)