French heavyweights musicians-composers-improvisers sax player Christophe Monniot and guitarist Marc Ducret have been collaborating in the last twenty years but not as a duo. Ducret used Monniot’s services on his albums (Qui Parle? Sketch, 2002, and Métatonal, Ayler, 2015) and Monniot hosted Ducret in his album and performed his compositions with his sextet (Une Nouvelle Terre, Le Triton, 2017).
Monniot and Ducret’s debut duo album Dernier Tango (Last Tango) focuses on tight and intimate but also raw and risk-taking duets, as an experiment of these two free spirits in expressive and emotional stripping. Their deep trust, daring and energetic spirits as well as the commanding mastery of their respective instruments give this series of 12 pieces its coherent framework. Often, as producer Stéphane Berland of Ayler Records (who wrote the liner notes), observed, this album also suggests an atmosphere of clever and nuanced orchestration of timbres.
Monniot and Ducret move freely between the complex, intense and fiery, as in the opening piece «Yes Igor» or «Pre Back», to the playful, lyrical and poetic, as in the title piece, the gentle ballad «L’Historie», the shape-shifting song «Interrompu» or the most beautiful «La Lattre Du Claire 1 & 2», or even the chamber «bishapour». This set of duets becomes more nuanced and layered with each piece, never repeating the same dynamics but always exploring more of the like-minded and vast compositional and improvisational strategies of Monniot and Ducret. It is titled the last tango but hopefully, it is not the last dance of Monniot and Ducret.
Christophe Monniot (sopranino s, as, bs), Marc Ducret (el.g)