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Birdwatcher

Michel Portal

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Album Review

Michel Portal is one of the most original bass clarinetists to come up in the past 20 years, and one of the few to not sound (except in brief spots) like Eric Dolphy. On this set of originals, he plays forward-looking jazz that is consistently colorful, often quite moody, occasionally a bit menacing, and never dull. Portal, who is also heard on one song apiece on clarinet, alto, and soprano, interacts with the passionate tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby on six of the 11 selections, welcomes several guest players, and on three numbers utilizes two bassists. Some of the originals are complex and others are one-chord vamps but the momentum, fueled by a powerful rhythm section that on seven selections includes percussionist Airto, never slows down. Birdwatcher is a spirited outing that is well worth savoring.

Customer Reviews

A very nice set of jazz pieces

Michel Portal recorded this in Minneapolis with Tony Malaby on tenor sax and a talented group on rhythm instruments. Only The Sandpiper is reminiscent of Portal's work on movie soundtracks. Lanterne Helvete and The Bad Waitress are fun songs, Lake Street is an acoustic story of a day in the city, and Tadorna has become one of my all-time favorite pieces, full of surprise and dissonance blending into melody. Very nice album.

Biography

Born: November 27, 1935 in Bayonne, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Multi-instrumentalist (clarinets, saxophones, bandoneon, etc.) and composer Michel Portal can be considered as the father...
Full Bio
Birdwatcher, Michel Portal
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Big Band
  • Released: Jun 26, 2007

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