Super happy to have dug this out of the archives - the final night of the great French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre's 2015 residency. Léandre was joined by Scottish improvising vocalist and dancer, Maggie Nicols, and drummer Roger Turner for both nights, and the second of the two saw sparks fly. Solo, Léandre is formidible - melodious, angry, rousing. Her voice breaks through the bass like McPhee's through a trumpet - there's joy, there's humour, and it's 100% intense.
Léandre and Nicols have a long history together - 1982's Live at The Bastille with Lyndsey Cooper still stands strong - and their trio with Irène Schweizer as 'Les Diaboliques' is totally unique. Here, both performers are totally at home with with each other and with their sounds - there's depth, unpredictability, intensity and delirious humour.
A treasure to share all five pieces, and we hope for another Léandre residency some day soon!
“A true, real artist. Stubborn. Visionary. Uncompromising. Intense. Tender and poetic at moments, raw and angry with the world at other times. She is unconcerned by style, and definitely stays far away from stylistic and formal mannerisms that are needed to placcate the reviewers and the hip audiences. She integrates music as music, and delivers it as music, using elements from tribal rituals over classical finesse to jazz expressionism and avant-garde search for new approaches, yet turning it all into something else, something more authentic, more innovative and - interestingly enough - also more universal.” – The Free Jazz Collective
Joëlle Léandre / double bass, vocals
Maggie Nichols / vocals
Roger Turner / percussion
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on Wednesday 18th March, 2015 by Mark Jasper. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by the wonderful Dawid Laskowski.
Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC
1. One (Joelle Leandre) 16:39
2. Two (Joelle Leandre) 11:29
3. Leandre / Nicols - 11:37
4. Leandre / Turner - 11:49
5. Leandre / Nicols / Turner - 32:29
French double bass player, improviser and composer, Joëlle Léandre is one of the dominant figures of the new European music. Trained in orchestral as well as contemporary music, she has played with l’Itinéraire, 2e2m and Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble Intercontemporain. Joëlle Léandre has also worked with Merce Cunningham and with John Cage, who has composed especially for her – as have Scelsi, Fénelon, Hersant, Lacy, Campana, Jolas, Clementi and about 40 composers.
As well as working in contemporary music, Léandre has played with some of the great names in jazz and improvisation, such as Derek Bailey, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis, Evan Parker, Irene Schweizer, William Parker, Barre Phillips, Pascal Contet, Steve Lacy, Lauren Newton, Peter Kowald, Urs Leimgruber, Mat Maneri, Roy Campbell, Fred Frith, John Zorn, Mark Naussef, Marilyn Crispell, India Cooke and so many others…
She has written extensively for dance and theater, and has staged a number of multidisciplinary performances. She got the DAAD at Berlin, is welcomed as artist resident at Villa Kujiyama (Kyoto). In 2002, 2004 and 2006, she is Visiting Professor at Mills college, Oakland, CA, Chaire Darius Milhaud, for improvisation and composition. Her work as a composer and a performer, both in solo recitals and a part of ensembles, has put her under the lights of the most prestigious stages of Europe, the Americas and Asia.
Maggie Nicols joined London's legendary Spontaneous Music Ensemble in 1968 as a free improvisation vocalist. She then became active running voice workshops with an involvement in local experimental theatre. She later joined the group Centipede, led by Keith and Julie Tippets and in 1977, with musician/composer Lindsay Cooper, formed the remarkable Feminist Improvising Group. She continues performing and recording challenging and beautiful work, in music and theatre, either in collaborations with a range of artists (Irene Schweitzer, Joelle Leandre, Ken Hyder, Caroline Kraabel) as well as solo.
Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner's hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group's musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.