Sunday, May 02, 2004

Joëlle Léandre & Jean-Luc Cappozzo - 28/04/2004, Brussels

Joëlle Léandre - b
Jean-Luc Cappozzo -tp, flh

I've been very lazy about reviewing concerts, recently, I've let some stuff pass without comment. Oh well. I'll give you a quick summation of this concert.

This duo worked from some thematic ideas, with Léandre rapidly departing from them and Cappozzo sticking closer to pre-established ideas. The trumpeter is an auto-didact with a rich, warm, burnished sound and a style ranging from New Orleans growls and smears to fleet post-bop lines. I first saw him a year ago in Louis Sclavis's quintet and he was extremely impressive. Léandre is well-known in improvised and contemporary music, but it was my first time seeing her. I was fairly blown away by her mastery of a vast array of "extreme" bass techniques, both pizzicato and arco.

It seems at first an incongruous meeting. Indeed, throughout the 3 sets, each player stayed on their side of the fence, but in the middle, something new, oddly complementary, was created. Especially when Cappozzo was at his most melodic, Léandre swooped around him or enveloped him in near-orchestral textures.

The music got better and better as time passed, but unfortunately, Léandre didn't seem to be in much of a playing mood. The first set lasted about 30 minutes, the second less than that and the third, after a long wait, last less than 15 minutes! Memorably, the night was capped by the best of the performances, as Cappozzo enunciated a soft, slow, haunting melody on muted trumpet while Léandre, bowed relatively freely around him, but maintaining the mood and again creating a third, unexpected, entity as the two independent lines came together.