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Monday, July 30, 2007

Contet/Chevillon/Corneloup - Nu (In Circum Girum, 2006) ***

Pascal Contet plays accordion, Bruno Chevillon bass and François Corneloup baritone sax. And this trio tries to give a new definition to music on this CD. The title "Nu" can of course be read as the English "new", but also and more appropriately as the French for "naked". "Less is more" seems to be the core principle and the trio ventures to grasps essence of emptiness : searching for the rights sounds and how to fill an empty space with them, but then preferably as sparse, as careful and as respectful as possible. There are some really beautiful things on this CD, such as the crying sax in the opening track, or the soft bass playing in the second one, or the eery and sustained tones that Chevillon manages to squeeze out of his instrument. This music is so fragile that you barely dare to listen to it out of fear of damaging it. But unfortunately they do not keep the creativity at high enough levels to make from each piece something great. The empty space becomes too large and their musical approach too limited, or they have to look for such unconventional angles, that it becomes too cerebral. And is really too bad, because there is some really great music here, like the last-but-one track, "Elle était la", on which Corneloup just like at the beginning gets some beautiful soft howling sounds out of his sax, perfectly accompanied by the warm bass and the hypnotic accordion.