Tuesday, February 20, 2007

noël akchoté blindfold test

A mordant blindfold test by guitarist Noël Akchoté. Translated excerpts:

Otomo Yoshihide/Bill Laswell/Yoshigaki Yasuhiro "Pocket" Soup Texture
"Generally speaking, when an original musician is surrounded by a rather ugly bass, resulting in a pointless disc that's very long and never gets going, Bill Laswell is never far away."

Tiny Bell Trio "Les croquants" Constellations
"If this music had been played by Philippe Deschepper, Jean-Luc Capozzo and Jacques Mahieux, it would have touched me infinitely more. It would have had a past, a life, meaning, an inimitable way of rolling along all by itself and wouldn't avoid the simple emotion of melody or even the feeling of the bal. What we're listening to sounds a bit forced. (...) I think that this is exactly the time when I got out of the jazz scene. Middle of the 90s? That's the time when we went from Paul Motian's trio with Frisell and Lovano, Tim Berne's groups, etc., to stuff like this. Dave Douglas or Axel Dörner, in a different genre, bore me pretty deeply (unlike Herb Robertson or Steven Bernstein)."

Miles Davis "Medley (Gemini - Double Image) Live/Evil
"If I take my generation, for example in jazz, I think that there are, what, four or five very strong personalities and excellent musicians and then if I'm more subjective, I'd say that there's one totally unique, immense, profound, full and sensitive exception and I'll name him: Guillaume Orti. (...) Anyway, I wasn't going to talk about Miles one more time."

Derek Bailey/Jamaaladeen Tacuma/Cavlin Weston "S'Now" Mirakle
"Ah, finally some jazz guitar. (...) The two guitarists that were very important in my evolution towards more open playing were the two I encountered first, Derek and Keith Rowe... And it's not coincidental that the two of them come, to put it briefly, from Charlie Christian and early jazz. For me, they have somewhere in the back, in very different ways, melody, swing and something of the Broadway song. Today, still, if I'm honest, it's the early jazz guitarists I'm passionate about. (...) Let's say that after René Thomas, Sonny Sharrock and Derek Bailey, music and the guitar in particular, go completely elsewhere. It's in electricity, rock, sound for sound, that things reinvent themselves."

Naked City Torture Garden
"I think John Zorn and this music was a kind of hope of getting out of the jazz ghetto... It seemed possible to imagine loving jazz and being open, young, active, alive. Not just a subscriber to specialised magazines and a bachelor looking for that impossible-to-find record. (...) For me, Zorn is two things: a great improviser, especially in free improvisation and a great producer. There's a Spielberg/DreamWorks side to him, even if I much prefer Spielberg."