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Plein air

by Jean Lapouge trio

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Par la côte 06:08
Mario 05:55
En campagne 03:46
Un hymne 06:19
Cloches 05:25


Emusic / Wondering Sound: New Jazz This Week
Dave Sumner
20 11 2014

Guitarist Jean Lapouge doesn’t take a conventional path when assembling a trio. Previous releases (2011′s Temporare and 2013′s Des Enfants, both excellent), saw Lapouge rounding out a trio with a trombonist and vibraphonist. On his newest, he brings in a cellist and drummer. Unsurprising, the music offers up plenty of intrigue. More of a “guitar album” than previous releases, it allows Lapouge the space to really spread out and develop freely. On his newest, songs are more apt to head out toward the horizon line and not stick so close to the melodic home base. Joining Lapouge are cellist Grégoire Catelin and drummer David Muris.

“Le guitariste Jean Lapouge n’utilise jamais les shémas conventionnels lorsqu’il s’agit de former un groupe. Le trio de ses deux disques précédents (Temporäre, 2011 et Des Enfants, 2012, tous deux excellents), était par exemple, complété par un trombone et un vibraphone.
Pour son dernier disque, il a choisi un violoncelle et une batterie. Pas étonnant alors, que sa musique nous surprenne encore. Plus "album de guitare" que les opus précédents, cette formation donne à Lapouge l'espace pour vraiment étendre son jeu et développer librement ses idées. Les morceaux sont plus enclins à se diriger vers la ligne d'horizon que de coller strictement à la mélodie.
Les musiciens qui ont rejoint Lapouge sur ce projet sont le violoncelliste Grégoire Catelin et le batteur David Muris.”


Bird is the worm
Dave Sumner
2 12 2014

When Jean Lapouge assembles a guitar trio, he doesn’t take the road most traveled. His excellent 2011 release Temporare created a fascinating patchwork of melodic roots and thick harmonic blooms around the trombone of Christiane Bopp and the vibes and oboe of Christian Paboeuf. The 2012 release Des Enfants worked similar territory, though it was more bedtime lullaby as compared to the wry “Tales From the Far Side” smile of Temporare. The closest thing to a conventional guitar trio from Lapouge is the 2011 release Plaything, which compiled previous tracks recorded with long-time collaborators, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Jeff Boudreux. But even this recording was a half-way meeting point between the prog-y fusion of Lapouge’s Noetra collective sound and an ECM Records guitar-led album… so not exactly standard fare.
And now, in 2014, Lapouge is at it again. Fresh out of the recording studio, Lapouge has assembled cellist Grégoire Catelin and drummer David Muris for Plein Air. And while this album is more guitar-centered than previous recordings, the cello-drums combination, thankfully, has it falling squarely outside conventional territory.
Immediately, the airy chatter of opening track “Par la côte” is a striking difference from past endeavors. The quick-stepped tempo and the dispersal of melody across its surface is a far cry from the patient, heavy expressiveness of prior recordings.
And it’s interesting to see how Lapouge’s guitar alters its shape now that he’s partnered with the elegance of cello, taking the spot once occupied by a burlier trombone, as well as the switching out of vibraphone for drums, substituting the vibes’ lyricism for drums’ more direct lines of communication. It results in an environment more conducive for Lapouge to follow melodic avenues as far as they’ll take him. An additional benefit is cello’s ability to follow right along at a comparable speed and a similar arc with drums setting down trail markers, either before or after the fact.
The smoky presence of cello asserts itself on “Acteur fétiche,” and the trio finds the sweet spot between ballad and blast-off, as the song shifts from a sound of enchantment to one far more volatile. And tracks like “Mario” and “Un hymne” open with languorous passages that shift into weightier passages that reach a frenzy.
“Anna Karénine” is perhaps the closest instance of revisiting a Temporare sound, as cello attains a booming resonance that serves the dual purpose of harmonic device and melodic propulsion.
The album ends with “Cloches,” a song expressed as a murmur and as unhurried as clouds in a calm sky. It’s the other side of the coin to album-opener “Par la côte,” and further illustrates how the new guitar trio dynamic provides Lapouge fresh melodic possibilities. It also reveals a new facet to Lapouge’s ability to create strange and unconventional music of a personable, unassuming nature. Odd, friendly and absorbing.
Your album personnel: Jean Lapouge (guitar), Grégoire Catelin (cello) and David Muris (drums).


Culture Jazz
Thierry Giard
03 2015

Le guitariste Jean Lapouge a toujours suivi des voies personnelles où la poésie musicale occupe une grande place, en particulier lorsqu’il travaille avec hautboïste Christian Pabœuf (un concert en 2009 ici!). En 2012, il rencontre le violoncelliste Grégoire Catelin qui apporte de belles nuances à ce trio, passant du jeu à l’archet au pizzicato qui s’allie avec la présence rythmique attentive de David Muris. De belles atmosphères pour une musique qui évoque l’errance et la rêverie au grand air !


Citizen Jazz
Thierry Michel
11 05 2015

Jean Lapouge invite au voyage, comme quand on était môme et qu’on se régalait de « Là, tout n’est qu’ordre et beauté, luxe, calme et volupté ». Chez ce trio à l’instrumentation inhabituelle (guitare électrique, violoncelle et batterie), on rencontre aussi des soleils mouillés et des ciels brouillés, des meubles luisants, polis par les ans… Un peu d’americana, un peu de rock, un soupçon de grande musique (le violoncelle sans doute), et beaucoup de jazz pour mixer le tout. On se sent bien en compagnie de cette musique tout en climats, presque de la musique de chambre concertante. De la poésie et de la balade, en tout cas, sur des compositions originales – voyez les titres : « Par la côte », « En campagne », « Cloches »… sans parler de la pochette, apaisante, et son troupeau de bovins.

Les cordes se frottent, magnifiées par la discrétion exemplaire mais incarnée de la batterie. On entend se mêler ici les influences de musiciens appartenant à des générations et des histoires culturelles différentes. À celles que revendique le guitariste sexagénaire (de Soft Machine à Eberhard Weber en passant par Miles Davis) s’ajoute la formation plus classique mais mâtinée de musiques du monde de Grégoire Catelin, en passant par les tribulations au long cours de David Murris – un homme qui vient d’ailleurs, puisqu’avant de devenir batteur il faisait dans l’océanographie et la géophysique marine… c’est dire si le grand air, il connaît : d’abord des accords folk et un thème jazz précédant trois accords « rockailleux » et des sonorités hispanisantes au violoncelle… on chemine bien « Par la côte » ! Puis « Acteur fétiche » part sur un picking aérien, et « Cloches » conclut le disque avec des clochettes qui s’égrainent et fleurent bon la campagne. Pas de doute, on est bien en « Plein air ».


Olav M Bjornsen
5 10 2015

Prolusion. French composer and guitarist Jean LAPOUGE has a career in music, stretching back a few decades, initially making a name for himself with the French band Noetra back in the day. Since that band disbanded in 1985 he has continued releasing music either in collaborative projects or as a solo artist, with five studio albums to his name since then. "Plein Air" is, to my knowledge, the first production ascribed to Jean Lapouge Trio. It was released through the French label Musea Records’ imprint Great Winds in 2014.

Analysis. While Lapouge first became known with a band many have chosen to place inside the progressive rock universe, his solo albums have all, at least to my knowledge, been firmly placed within the jazz universe. Those familiar with Noetra's material will obviously find similarities in the scope and style of Lapouge as a solo artist as well, but in terms of specific style explored, "Plein Air" is a jazz production through and through. Lapouge's specialty is to explore finer details and nuances, and this CD documents that approach and ability very well indeed. The instrumental compositions are all of a careful, delicate nature, of the kind one might describe them as introspective, and most certainly music that demands intense and careful listening. Headphone music is an expression that pops up now and then, and this is a perfect album to be placed in that category: An album best enjoyed in a silent room with your headphones on. Lapouge's guitar is, naturally enough, the key element throughout. Not always the dominant one, mind you, as the man doesn't shy away from having a more supplemental function when needed, but whether the guitar is the lead instrument or the provider of gentle details, his plucked, resonating and fragile guitar is the key identity mark throughout. On select occasions he'll opt for a subtly more intense delivery, on rare occasions he'll also add some rougher, distorted effects to the guitar tone, but first and foremost gentle, plucked light-toned guitar motifs are the order of the day. On a few occasions with what sounds like a slight nod in the direction of Django Reinhardt. Drummer Muris does an excellent job in supporting the proceedings with gentle rhythm and percussion details, while Catelin's role is rather more striking, as he uses the violincello to provide both the mournful timbre of the cello and the more melancholic vibes of the violin to supplement the gentle guitar motifs, and he also doubles up by providing bass lines by way of plucked strings, which does give many of these compositions a nice and at times surprising dynamic. There are a few occasions where we're treated to bass solo runs by way of plucked strings, for instance, which is rather more tasteful and effective than what the description might indicate.

Conclusion. "Plein Air" is an album that should be sought out by those who prefer their jazz-fusion to be delicate, that takes pleasure in subtle details, music where the individual tone is given lots of room and that focus on the finer nuances of music. An affection for careful, plucked guitar details are most likely needed, as well as a taste for music that demands a great deal of attention for its qualities to be revealed.


Bird is the worm
D Sumner
September, 2017

Lapouge’s 2014 release Plein Air is about as close to a standard guitar album as he’s likely to get. That said, his trio with drummer David Muris also has the cello of Grégoire Catelin, so perhaps even using the word standard is out of line. But being that as it may, the amiable chatter of “Par la côte” and the get-up-and-go of “En Campagne” stray far from the contemplative ambiance and thickly-layered melodicism of previous collaborations. That said, the addition of cello opens up all kinds of melodic possibilities, and the trio takes advantage of each and every one. Tracks like “Acteur fétiche,” “Mario” and “Un hymne” open with languorous passages that eventually shift into weightier passages as they achieve a captivating volatility, and these are where to find the heart of this lovely recording.

La livraison 2014 de Jean Lapouge, « Plein Air », est aussi proche que possible d'un album de guitariste standard. Cela dit, son trio avec le batteur David Muris compte dans ses rangs le violoncelle de Grégoire Catelin, donc peut-être que le mot standard est complètement hors-sujet. Quoi qu'il en soit, avec l'aimable bavardage de «Par la côte» et l’optimisme plein d’allant de «En Campagne» ce disque se démarque nettement des ambiances contemplatives, de l'expressivité mélodique et des arrangements aux superpositions denses de ses précédentes collaborations. Cependant, l'addition du violoncelle ouvre toutes sortes de possibilités mélodiques, et le trio exploite chacune d’entre elles. Des titres tels que "Acteur fétiche", "Mario" et "Un hymne" s'ouvrent sur des plages langoureuses qui au bout d’un moment se transforment en passages plus denses, avec une imprévisibilité captivante ; c’est là que se trouve le cœur de ce bel enregistrement.

Mientras Lapouge primero se hizo conocido con una banda, muchos han elegido su lugar dentro del universo del rock progresivo, sus álbumes en solitario, al menos para mi conocimiento, habían sido firmemente colocados dentro del universo de jazz. Aquellos familiarizados con el material de Noetra obviamente encontrarán similitudes en el alcance y el estilo de Lapouge como artista en solitario, pero en términos de específico estilo explorado, Plein air es una producción de jazz. La especialidad de Lapouge es explorar finos detalles y matices, y este CD documenta muy bien aquél enfoque y capacidad. Las composiciones instrumentales son todas de una cuidadosa y delicada naturaleza, del tipo de las que se podría describir como introspectivas, y ciertamente la música exige una intensa y atenta escucha. Música de auriculares es una expresión que aparece de vez en cuando, y este es un álbum perfecto para ser colocado en esa categoría: un álbum que se disfruta mejor en una habitación silenciosa con los auriculares puestos. La guitarra de Lapouge es, naturalmente, el elemento clave en todas partes. No siempre dominante, usted sabe, el hombre no huye de tener una función más complementaria cuando es necesario, pero si la guitarra es el principal instrumento o el proveedor de suaves detalles, su desplumada, resonante y frágil guitarra frágil es la señal de identidad clave en todas partes. En selectas ocasiones él optará por una entrega sutilmente más intensa, en raras ocasiones él también añadirá algún más áspero y distorsionado efecto al tono de la guitarra, pero en primer lugar, motivos de tonos claros de guitarra están a la orden del día. En algunas ocasiones, con lo que suena hay como un ligero guiño en la dirección de Django Reinhardt. El baterista Muris hace un excelente trabajo de apoyo a las actuaciones con suave ritmo y detalles percusivos, mientras el papel de Catelin es bastante más sorprendente, ya que utiliza el violoncello proporcionando tanto los lastimeros timbres del cello y las más melancólicas vibraciones del violín complementando los suaves motivos de guitarra, doblándose también hacia arriba proporcionando líneas de bajo a modo de cuerdas punteadas, que dan a muchas de estas composiciones una agradable y a veces sorprendente dinámica. Hay pocas ocasiones donde somos tratados a carreras de solo de bajo por vía de cuerdas punteadas, por ejemplo, que es más elegante y eficaz de lo que la descripción podría indicar.

Conclusión: Plein air es un álbum que debe ser buscado por aquellos que prefieren el jazz-fusión más delicado, que se complacen en detalles sutiles, música donde el tono individual se da mucho espacio y que se centra en los matices más finos de la música. Adeptos a los cuidadosos detalles de guitarra, son más que probablemente necesarios, así como un gusto por la música que exige mucha atención para que sus calidades sean reveladas.

Fuente para la reseña: Olav M Bjornsen para www.progressor.net/review/jlt_2014.html


released November 4, 2014

Jean Lapouge guitare/guitar
Grégoire Catelin  violoncelle/cello
David Muris  batterie/drums
Enregistré en juillet 2014/recorded July 2014  
Ingénieur du son/engineer : Alain Martin
Illustration couverture/cover painting : François Lapouge
Photo intérieure/liner photo : Serge Sacré
Conception graphique/design, production : Jean Lapouge


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Jean Lapouge Sarrazac, France

Guitarist Jean Lapouge was born in 1953 and was the leader of prog-rock group Noëtra, late 70s, early 80s. (jeanlapouge-english.blogspot.com/.) He published in recent years a handful of discs on trio, using different instrumentation. (www.jeanlapouge.net) ... more

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