Music Reviews from the Staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House


December 19, 2019
Désordre - Joëlle Léandre & Alexandra Grimal
Label: Montagne Noir or bandcamp
Catalog #: MN1
Country: France
Release Date: October 10, 2019
Media: cd of digital download entry

The staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House likes to follow the creative works of the French bassist, Joëlle Léandre. Recent(ish) highlights include her 8-cd homage, A Woman's Work (2016) on the Polish label, Not Two Records, or the second release with Tiger Trio (with Nicole Mitchell & Myra Melford), which we included in our top ten records of 2019 or the duet with Austrian pianist, Elisabeth Harnik, which made our top ten records of 2018 or etc.

We know much less about Alexandra Grimal. To our knowledge, we had heard only Andromeda, a quartet from 2012 with Todd Neufeld, Thomas Morgan & Tyshawn Sorey. But disorder appeals to us and we picked up this duet with Ms. Grimal & Ms. Léandre.

There are 14 tracks of bass and saxophone of which we will say nothing. Instead, we focus on track 11, untitled as are all of the rest, which features Grimal on voice rather than saxophone. She is accompanied by Léandre on bass and voice. This song alone has lyrics. We transcribed them here by ear. Any fault in the transcription is our own.

When I wonder where to go
I watch the rain drops or further
and I wonder why things are rain.
When I watch the river run through your tears
I think about a mountain's song rage (laughter)...
Raging your souls of despair
and wise travel blind
though you might come back here one day
as a stone or as a whisper
or as the rain as the clouds go
as the sun river burns
through your tears of joy.

These lyrics are delivered by Grimal in a manner that brings to mind nothing other than the song Ubu Noir as rendered by Nurse with Wound.

Anyone who pursues this music is driven by an interest in non-idiomatic improvisation. The bass & saxophone duets will not disappoint. This additional gem toward the end of the cd turned out to be an unexpected delight, which we attempt to promulgate in this forum of modest distribution.



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