Jean-Luc Guionnet
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The fish live à Jazz à Mulhouse (2006) & live à l’Olympic Café (2005)

¬ Discographie ¬ "jazz"

- Ayler Record – Suède — (double album correspondant aux deux concerts) - 2007
Benjamin Duboc (cb), Edward Perraud (bat) & Jean-Luc Guionnet (sa)


Jazz Magazine
By : Gérard Rouy

Le free jazz n’a jamais été un style de plus dans l’histoire, mais un refus, une remise en question, une mise en crise d’une pratique devenue aseptisée et académique. Une révolte qui ne se refusa rien en empruntant d’infinies directions, de l’infradoux à l’hyperviolent. The Fish s’inscrit dans la tradition de cette ”Nouvelle Chose” (et de la triangulaire unitée spritiuelle d’Ayler-Peacock-Murray), dans le paroxysme et la haute-tension, à travers trois longs morceaux enregistrés en live en 2005 et 2006 sur double CD.

Jean-Luc Guionnet, Benjamin Duboc et Edward Perraud ne sont pas des inconnus dans les cercles de l’impro, chacun d’entre eux participant à de nombreux groupes, rencontres et autres collaborations régulières ou ponctuelles – parfois en dehors de la musique – avec Roy Campbell, Hubbub, Abdelhaï Benanni, Das Kapital, Daunik Lazro, Didier Lasserre, Calx, Eric La Casa, Johannes Bauer, Marc Baron, Wormholes, Paul Rogers, Arthur Doyle, Olivier Benoit, Return Of The New Thing, Eric Cordier, etc.

The Fish est à mille lieux des tentations minimalistes et infra-audibles de certaines tendances actuelles de l’improvisation libre, on entre au contraire de manière frontale dans un maëlstrom d’énergie incandescente d’où l’auditeur ne sort pas indemne. Pourtant, si la pression ne se relâche pas au coeur d’une matière sonore bouleversante de générosité, l’interaction est vive dans le moindre détail des circonvolutions de ces trois derviches tourneurs dont l’intensité donne le frisson.

Coda / Jazz Word
By : Ken Waxman

Screaming, screeching Energy Music – but with cerebral insight – this two-CD set confirms that no-holds-barred Aylerian Free Jazz continues to thrive and vibrate in France and elsewhere. Paradoxically enough though, The Fish’s alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet and drummer Edward Perraud are also members of Hubbub, the French quintet whose approach to improvisation is hushed and minimalist to the extreme.

Yet on the three long tracks here, recorded in a Paris café and at an Alsatian jazz festival, Guionnet plays with boisterous, unbridled, piercing intensity, as Perraud rolls, rebounds and smashes in a Rashied Ali-like fashion. Third Fish is bassist Benjamin Duboc, veteran of many other Euro improv bands, who alternately thumps powerful beats or shuffle bows and resonates unexpected arco string patterns.

Playing with a vibrato so wide it seems to engulf both his mouthpiece and reed, Guionnet use shrill slide-whistles, sharp reed-biting expansions, fog-horn lows and snorty smeared tones to emotionally express an impetus that move the two circular, twisting Paris improvisations forward.

Impelling the musical ferment another notch higher a year later at the jazz festival, the saxophonist’s agitated, bravura performance opens up still further so that the drummer and bassist are properly showcased as well. Besides the stuttering glossolalia and heraldic guttural honks of the saxophonist, the timbral kaleidoscope is distinctively stretched by perfect unison between thwacking power-strokes from Duboc and piercing elongated scrapes on Perraud’s thick ride cymbal.

This set proves beyond doubt that not only does Energy Music still thrive, but its practitioners can impress in varied musical setting. More listeners should hook The Fish.

Signal To Noise
By : Marc Medwin

This double disc, culled from two live concerts in 2005 and 2006, represents an act of courage.
The tradition of "blowing" long-form "free jazz" has birthed many masterpieces but even more disasters. Those that would follow in the footsteps of late ’Trane, Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler have their work cut out for them ; constant invention is paramount, but more often than not, empty rhetoric carries the day, inducing boredom at best, frustration at worst.

This French trio is admirable, certainly for its virtuosity, but foremost for beating the odds and presenting long-form improvisations that maintain a consistently high level of interest.
Alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet is largely, though certainly not exclusively, responsible for getting the ball rolling, as "Heleginus" opens the album with his beautifully Eastern-tinged melodies floating over bass and drums.
Bassist Benjamin Duboc, whose work I have enjoyed in other contexts, is the first to engage Guionnet fully, initiating a series of sweeps and glides early in the 37-minute track.
Drummer Edward Perraud soon follows suit with expert rolls and thuds, but the first moment of real group glory occurs at around 2:35, when everything comes to an unexpected and thrilling halt. Just for an instant, time is suspended, a moment of synchronicity that only a well-formed and long practiced group executes convincingly – and is that an audience member expressing admiration ? Over the long haul, a special relationship between Guionnet and Perraud becomes evident, first at 4:19, where the drummer picks up on a Guionnet motive and they hurl it to the sky. Yet, Duboc, intent on multiple rhythms and rapidly varied attack rather than on razor-sharp lines or overtones, supports both of his comrades, alternately another melodist and a drummer of sorts in his own right. His contributions are most apparent during "Gracilus"’s opening moments, but repeated listening shows him to be engaged similarly throughout, even if sometimes overshadowed by the others.

The set just gets better with every listen, revealing intricacies that can be lost on initial listening due to high energy and high volume.

Jazzman
By : Thierry Lepin
* * * *

Jazz à Mulhouse 2006, soirée de clôture : le public se presse pour célébrer le quartette de Peter Brötzmann et Joe McPhee ; la révélation fut "The Fish". Une claque. Presque une leçon de fraîcheur à leurs aînés qui allaient suivre. Un parie gagné haut la main. Et pourtant... Si le trio se revendique dans l’héritage du free jazz, on est loin d’une quelconque tentation de revival. C’est de multiples points d’ancrages qu’ils se sont nourris (jazz plus mainstream, musiques électro acoustiques, rock’n’roll...) à l’aune de leurs parcours éclectiques (voir Jazzman, décembre 2005). "The Fish" est tout d’abord un son, cinglant, qui prend aux tripes. Celui d’un saxophone alto d’une rare énergie, se déployant par soubresauts, accrocs soudains... vers une forme d’improvisation "à l’arrache", dont la virtuosité agace. Les strates orchestrées par la rythmique explicitent l’enjeu, dans des correspondances charnelles, en variant la profondeur de champ (une tension qui se joue aussi dans les silences). Le trio dessine une chorégraphie sonore presque hypnotique, sans jamais relâcher l’étreinte. Rarement cette formule, pourtant si balisée, a révélé une telle urgence à questionner la matière sonore. Les huits mois de distance qui séparent les deux concerts en témoigne, la musique de "The Fish" est en (r)évolution permanente. Le second offre déjà d’autres pistes (correspondances de textures et de mouvements avec les musiques électroniques) et suggère de futurs ébats plus que prometteurs.

The Wire
By : Julian Cowley

“Live music with spirit” is the Ayler Records motto and this fits the bill perfectly. Two lengthy pieces in Paris at the end of 2005 and one from Alsace last August show this fiery French trio in blistering form. Bassist Benjamin Duboc and drummer Edward Perraud sustain the pace, and provide a rugged backdrop while Jean-Luc Guionnet wrings intensity from his alto saxophone. Each of the three tracks is in the vicinity of 40 minutes and the level of energy doesn’t flag. While early examples of this kind of aggressive free jazz blowing make most replicas superfluous, there’s nothing redundant about the stamina, high tension and sinuous fluency of The Fish’s music.

Downtown Music Gallery
By : Bruce Lee Gallanter

Two members on The Fish, Jean-Luc Guionnet and Edward Perraud, are members of the great French improv quintet Hubbub, who have two fine discs on Matchless and I caught at the Victo Fest a few years back.

Percussionist, Edward Perraud, can be heard on an excellent recent duo disc with Paul Rogers on FMR. Disc 1 was recorded at the Olympic Cafe in December of 2005 and Disc 2 was recorded at the Jazz a Mulhouse in August of 2006, both in France.
Unlike Hubbub, this trio is not so restrained. Disc 1 explodes open with some powerful alto/bass/drums trio action, very concentrated and quite intense. They are very tight as they erupt together into a swirling storm of burning energy.

This is wonderful free/jazz spirit music at its best, unleashed and mind-blowingly immense. All three players are well-matched and swirl tightly together into one dynamic force. It is impossible to tell where these cats come from, just by listening they speak the universal language of free/music as well as anyone well-known or unknown.

Jazznett
By : Henrik Kaldahl

The Fish are a French trio who is dedicated to playing free jazz and improvising, and does it very, very well. The Fish are the following three musicians – Jean-Luc Guionnet on alto saxophone, Benjamin Duboc on bass and Edward Perraud on drums.
This release, from Ayler records, is a double CD with live numbers from two concerts - one from the Olympic café in Paris France on the 22. of December 2005 and one from The Mulhouse jazz festival, France on the 26. of August 2006.
Three long numbers are what we as listeners are being presented for, and what fantastic numbers they are. Guionnet blows and screams on his saxophone like it was the last thing he has got to do in this world, Duboc tortures the strings on his bass with amazing groovy results and Perraud bangs and smashes the drums with such power that you are afraid that he is going to destroy his drum skins.

The most amazing thing about The Fish are the truly amazing interplay between the musicians, all three of them are improvising and going in different directions, playing the best they have ever learned, but they always keep it together. Never going to long out with their improvisations and never playing without a purpose.
It is releases like this one that makes it all worth while being a free jazz fan, to hear the joy and love of playing from this trio convinces me that the great masters like Albert Ayler, John Coltrane and many others has not lived for no reason.
If you only are going to buy one free jazz CD this summer, then this is the one you should be going for, I promise you that you won’t be disappointed – The Fish is the bomb.

Norrköpings Tidningar
By : Uno Ohlsson
* * * *

Gruppen The Fish består av altsaxofonisten Jean-Luc Guionnet, basisten Benjamin Duboc och trumslagaren Edward Perraud och deras intensiva rytmattacker får det mesta av dagens frijazz att förblekna.

De tre ger järnet som om de spelade för brinnande livet. Det vore inte rätt att påstå att detta är musik man tar till sig vid första lyssningen. Men ju mer man lyssnar på gruppens improvisatoriska utsvävningar desto mer upplyft blir man

DIG
By : Johan Lif
* * * * 1/2

Fransmannen Jean-Luc Guionnet har en fascinerande meritlista : han har främst utmärkt sig som kompositör av elektroakustisk musik (han studerade för Xenakis), men är också en etablerad bildkonstnär och en publicerad filosof. Därtill har han på senare år alltmer gjort sig bemärkt som fritt improviserade saxofonist, i grupper som Hubbub och Dan Warburtons Return of the New Thing. Och då har jag inte ens gått in på hans framträdande som kyrkoorganist.

Här är hans debutskiva med trion The Fish, med basisten Benjamin Duboc och trumslagaren Edward Perraud (tidigare medlem av avantrockbandet Shub-Niggurath). Den innehåller inspelningar från två konserter, utsträckta över två cd-skivor och uppdelade på tre låtar : 38, 36 och 41 minuter långa. Guionnet använder här ett tydligt igenkännbart frijazzidiom, men hans altsaxofon är aldrig flödande eller extatisk : hans spel är fullt av kantiga, kaotiska linjer och plötsliga avbrott, det är intellektuellt och övertänkt men också befriande rakt på sak – "med fötterna i bluesen och huvudet i stjärnorna", för att citera en utmärkt formulering från cd-häftet.

Det är rätt mycket musik att tugga i sig på denna dubbel-cd, och det är anmärkningsvärt med vilken hängivenhet och koncentration musikerna tar sig an den krävande uppgiften att improvisera under så långa sträckor. Det första stycket, "Heleginus", inleds i löst hållen samtalston, med Guionnet i centrum. Perrauds trumspel blir gradvis mer detaljerat och efter en halvtimme närmast funkigt - en rytmisk utmaning som Guionnet besvarar med atonalt skrapande i diskanten.

"Gracilus" är till en början mer formellt uppbruten och utforskande, för att gradvis utvecklas till att bli alltmer hetsig och kolerisk, med gott om utrymme för Benjamin Dubocs bas, tidvis gnisslande och gnyende som en skadeskjuten fågel, men det är på skivans avslutande stycke, "Aprion", som trion kommer till sin fulla rätt : här är alla tre musiker likvärdiga deltagare i en aggressivt stimulerande konversation, som slutligen mynnar ut i ett eftertänksamt diminuendo – där den monumentala frijazzenergin ger vika för spatiösa klanger som ligger närmare den elektroakustiska konstmusiken.

En stimulerande avslutning på en sällsynt innehållsrik musikalisk resa

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Ayler Records