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Eric La Casa, Cool Quartett, Lina Nyberg : Dancing in Tomelilla (Hibari, 2012)

eric la casa cool quartet dancing in tomelilla

On pourra voir dans ces chaises, tabourets, sofa et fauteuil vides de couverture, les meubles reprisés installés dans une salle de danse peu ordinaire : le groupe qu’on y attend a pour nom Cool Quartett (ses musiciens ceux d’Axel Dörner, Zoran Terzic, Jan Roder et Sven-Åke Johansson), qui accompagnera la chanteuse Lina Nyberg.

Malgré les qualités des musiciens du quartette en question, le concert – que le disque retient sur ses quatre dernières plages – ne donne pas grand-chose : pire, déçoit beaucoup. Un lot de standards soumis aux chiches voire racoleuses vocalises de Nyberg – sirop de jazz pour tout souteneur. Si le swing vacille bien un peu sur un solo de Dörner ou une excentricité soudaine de la section rythmique, ce qui fait le sel de l’enregistrement est une présence qui rode : c’est qu’Eric La Casa promène là son micro : et les choses bougent enfin.

Ainsi sur My Old Flame décide-t-il de jouer de la distance qui le sépare des musiciens, finit par leur échapper pour rejoindre le public, s’intéresser à ses conversations, mettre ses rires en boîte... La musique n’est plus qu’un élément de l’endroit dont La Casa enregistre la rumeur, et même l’existence. Pour remettre la chose (ou le concert) dans son contexte, il s’empare des trois premières pistes du disque et raconte ou réinvente une vie de coulisse (échauffement, frigo qui bourdonne, vieux disques de jazz qui tournent au loin…) et une vie de club (bruits de la rue à qui on ouvre la porte, craquements du plancher, premiers applaudissements…).

Un concert en particulier, certes, mais plus encore toutes les choses qui tournent autour d’un concert comme un autre : voilà ce qu’a enregistré La Casa le 6 septembre 2008. Voilà la vérité qu’il révèle aujourd’hui sur référence Hibari.

Eric La Casa, Cool Quartett, Lina Nyberg : Dancing in Tomelilla (Hibari / Metamkine)
Enregistrement : 6 septembre 2008. Ediion : 2012.
CD : 01-03/ September in Tomelilla 04/ Softly as in A Morning Sunrise 05/ September in the Rain 06/ My Old Flame 07/ April in Paris 08/ Long Ago and Faar Away
Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli

tomelilla

In 2008 I was going to quit as a director of the Art Museum in Ystad, a place I made a venue for music, sound art and visual arts. Among those I worked with were Sonic Youth, Jim O´Rourke, Yoshimi, Ikue Mori, Christine Abdelnour, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Brötzmann, Peter Kowald, Kim Gordon and many others. But among those I worked with the most was my old friend Sven-Åke Johansson. He followed my doings over the years. In September 2008 I decided to arrange my last music festival and invited Sven-Åke Johansson, Axel Dörner, Annette Krebs, Andrea Neumann, Christine Abdelnour and many others as well. In the art museum we planned to days with ad hoc playing and different groups. But Sven-Åke gave me the idea that Cool Quartett should play for dancing in Stora Hotellet, Tomelilla, Grand Hotel, Tomelilla, really an old fashioned place in a village, where people would meet on Saturday evening to drink and dance. A place where they never heard of Sven-Åke Johansson or whatever free music. So, this is what happened. We asked the hotel owners and they were enthusiastic. They would have a normal dance evening and promised to cook very traditionally south Swedish food.

This very evening we went there with all the participants of the sound and experimental music festival. And especially for this evening I had invited one of Sweden´s top jazz vocalists to sing the melodies. It was really meant to be a dance evening and not a jazz concert. Cool Quartet played for hours from the American song book and Lina sang the songs, no one was supposed to play a solo longer than a chorus. They were playing for dance. And people did dance. Many couples came there only to dance and they were smartly dressed up and to be able to drink they had booked rooms in the hotel. Thus the evening went on in the name of foxtrot etc… All the musicians danced. Even me. So I had the opportunity to dance with Christine Abdelnour, Annette Krebs and Andrea Neumann as well. And also the other visitors, the members of the very local jazz club, and the inhabitants of Tomelilla also danced with the many foreign guests. A young girl from Tomelilla asked me to dance, and asked me about the great orchestra. I explained this was part of a sound art project in Ystad Art Museum. She had never heard about this museum.

The evening turned out into a great party. Everybody was satisfied. But what I did not expect was that so many of the local dancing audience decided to come to the museum next day to listen to the music. Now indeed experimental, they way you know it. And they stayed for hours, because they recognized for example Annette Krebs and others they had talked to and danced with. They did not find this music difficult, only different. And they felt at home.

Eric La Casa, yes he was part of the festival. All the evening he spent recording from different angles, even from the toilet or upstairs. And this is the result of his efforts, the first half being a kind of sound collage and the second being a recording of how the band sounded this evening. Then you have to imagine all the beer, wine, egg cakes, pork, salads for the vegetarians and dark south Swedish rye bread, that were also part of the evening. After the concert I walked with Christine and asked her once again if she liked jazz music, she had denied that so many times before. She said again, no, she had no connections whatsoever with this music.

Do I have to tell you that Barcelona Series, Christine, Annette and all the others made tremendously good music in the Art Museum, and that I am very happy that some of the inhabitants of Tomelilla had the opportunity to enjoy it in different shapes. Tomelilla by the way is just 20 kilometers away from Ystad. So this is the little story behind this record.

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Sven-Åke Johansson : Jazzbox (SAJ, 2013)

sven-ake johansson jazzbox

Sous l’intitulé Jazzbox, Sven-Åke Johansson met en boîte cinq références de son propre label, SAJ, qui l’exposent en trio (Candy), quartettes (Cool, Tune Up) ou sextette (Cool encore).

Ce Cool Quartett que capteront les micros d’Eric La Casa en 2008 (Dancing in Tomelilla) est ainsi à entendre sur trois disques enregistrés en 2002 (pour les deux premiers), 2009 et 2012 (pour le troisième). Partout, Axel Dörner, Zoran Terzic et Jan Roder, servent un jazz ligne claire que se disputent le west coast et le « cool » annoncé. Au son de standards – George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter… –, le groupe évoque (My Heart Stood Still aidant) Chet Baker flottant sur le lac Wansee ou dépose la Berlin Alexanderplatz quelque part sur la carte entre San Francisco et New York. Sur le troisième volume, trois morceaux donnent à entendre le Quartett augmenté de deux membres : Tobias Delius et Henrik Walsdorff aux saxophones ténor et alto, dont les sonorités encanaillent Bernie’s Tune que popularisèrent Mulligan et Baker. Plus tortueuses, la poignée de compositions de Dörner que le Quartett interprète ici et là comblent le répertoire d’audaces qui, sur la longueur, peuvent manquer.

Plus « poli » encore, ce Candy que le trompettiste et le batteur enregistrèrent, en 2002 toujours, avec le contrebassiste Joe Williamson. Sur l’air de chansons anciennes (Candy, The Way You Look Tonight, Stars Fell on Alabama, Old Devil Moon…), le trio soigne ses gestes et prend garde aux dérapages. La formule souffrira en conséquence de la comparaison avec celle de Tune Up, disque enregistré plus récemment en quartette, dans lequel Johansson retrouvait Delius et Roder en présence d’Aki Takase. Ce sont alors Old Black Magic, Cool Blues ou The Song Is You, qui passent au son d’un swing tranquille que le piano bouscule parfois. Comme le Cool Sextett, le quartette de Tune Up « tombe » sur un équilibre qui flatte ses relectures.

Sven-Åke Johansson : Jazzbox (SAJ / Metamkine)
Enregistrement : 2002-2012. Edition : 2013.
5 CD : CD1/ Cool Quartett Vol. I CD2/ Cool Quartett Vol. 2 CD3/ Cool Quartett / Sextett CD4/ Tune Up CD5/ Candy
Guillaume Belhomme © Le son du grisli

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