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Album Review

Highly regarded improvising bassist Joelle Leandre aligns herself with a multinational, all-star entourage of forward thinking and like-minded improvisers on this 2000 release simply titled Joelle Leandre Project. Essentially this outing represents a series of works that interweave in somewhat of a seamless manner as the overall tone and flow might suggest a multi-part suite. Some of the highlights of this project are rooted within Leandre's angular, craftily executed and often-emotive arco-basslines during episodes of fervent interplay with violinist Carlos Zingaro, pianist Marilyn Crispell, and keyboards/electronics expert Richard Teitelbaum. Throughout these expressive and at times free-flowing improvisations, the listener will hear fluttering dialogue amid drummer Paul Lovens' undulating rhythmic structures and multihued backwashes of crashing cymbals and gongs. And while Richard Teitelbaum provides supple statements via his acute utilization of analog synths, Crispell occasionally employs a cavalcade of huge block chords intertwined with pensive harmonies and swirling clusters of sound.

The band often pursues vertical movement in concert with curiously interesting dialogue as they create grooves and motifs that announce a distinct sense of urgency atop temperate crosscurrents. Despite a few lulls in the momentum where the dialogue seems to flounder, The Joelle Leandre Project is a relatively strong outing, teeming with impassioned interplay and abstract thematic invention, brought to listeners by an assemblage of celebrated stylists.

Biography

Born: 1948 in Lisbon, Portugal

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Since the late 1970s, violinist Carlos "Zingaro" Alves has worked with many of the top improvisers and composers of his time. Born in Portugal, Zingaro studied classical music at his hometown of Lisbon's Music Conservatory from the age of five, until 1965. He was a member of the Lisbon University Chamber Orchestra during the '60s, and in the latter half of the decade formed Plexus, which was the only Portuguese new music group around. Plexus drew from contemporary classical, rock and improvisation,...
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Joëlle Léandre Project, Carlos Zingaro
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