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På skive


«Face to Face»

Two master free-improvisers and investigators of sounds and timbres. Both have collaborated with the most innovative improvisers from all over the globe, among them double bass player Joëlle Léandre, sax players Joe McPhee, Evan Parker and John Butcher, pianist Marilyn Crispell and turntablist Otomo Yoshihide. They met «Face to Face» for two live sets captured at the WIM (Werkstatt für improvisierte Musik) in Zürich and at the Kunsthalle in Lucerne, Switzerland, in October 2018.

These are Swiss soprano and tenor sax player Urs Leimgruber, known for his exploratory research of the saxophone sonic horizons, its interior space, and vibrating qualities while applying his very inventive breathing techniques while creating his own free music; and  French Jean-Marc Foussat, the label owner and a master sound engineer (who recorded before few albums of Leimgruber, including with the MMM Quartet, an ad-hoc trio with Léandre and vocalist Lauren Newton and the working trio of Leimgruber with pianist Jacques Demierre and double bass master Barre Phillips), is one of the few explorers of the vintage, analog AKS synthesizer who has developed a raw yet nuanced language comprised of windy sounds, gusts, violent, sudden currents and weird loops. Here he also adds his processed voice.

The first disc/live set, titled «Rive De Rêves» is a slow-cooking, deep-listening free-improvisation. It blends patiently the delicate breaths, murmurs, whispers and occasional cries and shouts of Leimgruber’s saxes with the soft, alien explosive noises of Foussat’s synth until it becomes an organic sonic entity. Both Leimgruber and Foussat know how to feed and expand each other’s gestures, trigger deeper, more provocative sounds and how to structure, arresting, unpredictable dynamics that are not shy from a sudden melodic line or sketching an exotic theme.

The second disc/live set «Luxerna» was recorded a week before the first one and sounds more urgent and tense. Leimgruber’s fragile bird calls are met with Foussat’s alien, uncompromising sounds and voices that resonate all over the Kunsthalle space. Leimgrubber and Foussat further deepen this kind of tense, but sparse and poetic interplay, leaving enough space – literally – for each other.

Foussat calls this kind of sonic communication «non-domesticated music». This music often just follows the abstract sounds and lets these sounds shape and shift according to their own inner rationale, at their own pace, slowly gravitating into vivid, dream-like textures.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Urs Leimgruber (ss, ts) Jean-Marc Foussat (AKS synth, v)


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