CD Review: Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio - Sources



Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio Sources
(ECM 279 9532. CD Review By Chris Parker)


“Music conceived for this group and which couldn’t exist until we’d played it … when I presented it to them I saw a huge question mark rising above their heads.”

Thus Louis Sclavis describing his compositions for Sources, which features, alongside his clarinets, Benjamin Moussay (piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards) and Gilles Coronado (electric guitar). The “question mark” Sclavis mentions is entirely understandable: such is the originality (and often downright abstruseness) of Sclavis’s music that at times it sounds as if its notes might have been randomly produced by a computer with the express intention of determining whether or not coherent music could be made from linking them up.

The textures, too, produced by the band are highly unusual, and although recognisable generic influences – among them chamber music, minimalism, free jazz, avant-rock – are discernible, the music on Sources is largely sui generis; as Sclavis himself notes: “It doesn’t resemble anything else played by one of the most original groups I could have imagined both in terms of orchestration and aesthetic orientation.” He’s right: Sources simply has to be heard to be believed.

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