1 800 222 6872

Chris Cheek/Stephane Furic Leibovici/Lee Konitz: Jugendstil II [Digipak] *

Audio Samples

>Odysseus Returns Home
>Tomorrow I Shall Dance for You
>Music of Tranquillity
>Float West On the Slender Current
>L'ile de Fressanges (...Nuit D'été...)
>Mains de Pénélope (...Le Jour, Elle Tissait...)
>Phongsaly
>Local Heroes

Track List

>Odysseus Returns Home
>Tomorrow I Shall Dance for You
>Music of Tranquillity
>Float West On the Slender Current
>L'ile de Fressanges (...Nuit D'été...)
>Mains de Pénélope (...Le Jour, Elle Tissait...)
>Phongsaly
>Local Heroes

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

"The wondrous nature of Jugendstil II is ensconced in the breathtaking improvisations of alto saxophone giant Lee Konitz, the way they intersect with the ideas of brilliant young tenor saxophonist Chris Cheek, and the effect they have on the birth of new compositions by virtuoso bassist Stéphane Furic Leibovici. The miraculous glue that holds it all together is the magnificently spare songs, both written and suggested. Add to that the exacting melodious bass lines that the maestro, Stéphane Furic Leibovici, annunciates and declares with his fluid pizzicato. Without intending to pick up from where Jugendstil I (ESP Disk, 2008) left off, this is a maiden voyage - beginning, appropriately, with the Homeric legend of Odysseus, "Odysseus Returns Home."

That the song follows a concrete path, rich in the exactitude of that imagery is a tribute to the language of Ezra Pound's Cantos the epic literary journey that laid the groundwork for modern poetry. Similarly, this song employs exquisite melodic counterpoint to establish the multiplicity of legend, as well as the voyage on the Iliad. The contemporary nature of the work is rooted in Furic Leibovici's broad, curved harmonics on a gorgeously tuned bass. "Tomorrow I Shall Dance For You" is a beautiful, dreamy melody enhanced by Konitz's glassy improvisations, goaded on by Cheek's modal tenor lines. Once again, Furic Leibovici roots the music in a bluesy vein. The hypnotic, seemingly slashed melody of "A Music of Tranquility" makes for a poignant cubist abstraction, with both Konitz and Cheek dancing eloquently around each other in a double helix manner.

"Float West on the Slender Current" is a vehicle for the saxophonists' entwining, and is orchestrated by the bassist, who goads the individual voices with forceful, precise notes, almost as if they were deliberately written. The spatial elements of this song make it all the more breathtaking. The next three tracks - "A L'ile De Fressanges (...Nuit d'Été...)," "Les Mains De Pénélope (...Le Jour, Elle Tissait...)" and "Phongsaly" - are somehow interconnected, married by the color of the thematic palette that describes the movement of the song's emotions. The first of this trilogy is again a dreamscape, made just so by the introduction of instrumentation including glockenspiel, vibes, harp. celésta and Chris Speed's clarinet. The spirit-like waltz time that shadows the compositions, and Konitz's sensuous playing, give the melodies a very physical - an almost deliciously fleshy - element.

There can be no doubt that "Local Heroes" makes oblique reference (at least) to Konitz and Cheek, who come from different eras, but meet at a point in time that is actually timeless. Their mutual respect and acute sense of history make Jugendstil II an effort that - as is the case each time a project is released under Jugendstil's name - continues to grow in significance and stature." -AllAboutJazz

"The wondrous nature of Jugendstil II is ensconced in the breathtaking improvisations of alto saxophone giant Lee Konitz, the way they intersect with the ideas of brilliant young tenor saxophonist Chris Cheek, and the effect they have on the birth of new compositions by virtuoso bassist Stéphane Furic Leibovici. The miraculous glue that holds it all together is the magnificently spare songs, both written and suggested. Add to that the exacting melodious bass lines that the maestro, Stéphane Furic Leibovici, annunciates and declares with his fluid pizzicato. Without intending to pick up from where Jugendstil I (ESP Disk, 2008) left off, this is a maiden voyage - beginning, appropriately, with the Homeric legend of Odysseus, "Odysseus Returns Home."

That the song follows a concrete path, rich in the exactitude of that imagery is a tribute to the language of Ezra Pound's Cantos the epic literary journey that laid the groundwork for modern poetry. Similarly, this song employs exquisite melodic counterpoint to establish the multiplicity of legend, as well as the voyage on the Iliad. The contemporary nature of the work is rooted in Furic Leibovici's broad, curved harmonics on a gorgeously tuned bass. "Tomorrow I Shall Dance For You" is a beautiful, dreamy melody enhanced by Konitz's glassy improvisations, goaded on by Cheek's modal tenor lines. Once again, Furic Leibovici roots the music in a bluesy vein. The hypnotic, seemingly slashed melody of "A Music of Tranquility" makes for a poignant cubist abstraction, with both Konitz and Cheek dancing eloquently around each other in a double helix manner.

"Float West on the Slender Current" is a vehicle for the saxophonists' entwining, and is orchestrated by the bassist, who goads the individual voices with forceful, precise notes, almost as if they were deliberately written. The spatial elements of this song make it all the more breathtaking. The next three tracks - "A L'ile De Fressanges (...Nuit d'Été...)," "Les Mains De Pénélope (...Le Jour, Elle Tissait...)" and "Phongsaly" - are somehow interconnected, married by the color of the thematic palette that describes the movement of the song's emotions. The first of this trilogy is again a dreamscape, made just so by the introduction of instrumentation including glockenspiel, vibes, harp. celésta and Chris Speed's clarinet. The spirit-like waltz time that shadows the compositions, and Konitz's sensuous playing, give the melodies a very physical - an almost deliciously fleshy - element.

There can be no doubt that "Local Heroes" makes oblique reference (at least) to Konitz and Cheek, who come from different eras, but meet at a point in time that is actually timeless. Their mutual respect and acute sense of history make Jugendstil II an effort that - as is the case each time a project is released under Jugendstil's name - continues to grow in significance and stature." -AllAboutJazz

Album Notes

Personnel: Chris Cheek (tenor saxophone); Stephane Furic Leibovici (double bass); Lee Konitz (alto saxophone); Joy Plaisted (harp); Dan Dorrance (alto flute, bass flute, piccolo); Chris Speed (clarinet); Maria Garcia (celesta); Jim Black, Jim Black (vibraphone, glockenspiel, chimes).

Audio Mixers: Patrick Goraguer; Bruce Cherbit; Richard Comte.

Liner Note Author: Jim Black.

Recording information: Systems Two, NY (08/15/2005).

Editor: Richard Comte.

Photographer: Carol Fondé.

Though renowned saxophonists Lee Konitz and Chris Cheek are the principal players on this date, it is bassist/composer Stephane Furic Leibovici who is the ostensible leader and music director. Still, Konitz and Cheek take the bulk of the load on melodic, harmonic, and respectful improvisations that are framed by Leibovici. Producer Jim Black states in the liner notes that the space inserted is more prevalent than the notes, and to a great degree, he is spot-on. What alto saxophone master Konitz and high-caliber tenor man Cheek provide goes far beyond good musical common sense and into magical discourse time and time again on this consistently delightful recording that implies more than it forcefully delineates. Leibovici enjoys a good groove after the fact, as the saxophones mess around on sparring jabs during "Odysseus Returns Home" and "Tomorrow I Shall Dance for You," which act as tone setters for the program. Ostinato bass, the blues, spiritually based music, and a bit of unison playing enter the picture, while Black on glockenspiel, vibes, or chimes, flute player Dan Dorrance, Maria Garcia on celeste, Joy Plaisted on harp, and clarinetist Chris Speed make token appearances. But it is the brilliant telepathy and telemetry of Konitz and Cheek that stirs this drink, swimming past upstream currents with ultimate confidence, calm, and reserve. In many ways a beautiful recording, and one that should not intimidate anyone, Leibovici and his talented friends have made one of the better collections of improvised recordings of recent memory, and it comes with a very high recommendation. ~ Michael G. Nastos



Reviews

There are currently no reviews, be the first one!
Login or Create an Account to write a review