Bird is the worm
Best of 2011: 5. Jean Lapouge – Temporäre
Some music just sounds pretty when all evidence indicates that it shouldn’t. Jean Lapouge’s Temporare makes for an excellent Exhibit A. Lapouge’s trio consists of his guitar, the trombone of Christiane Bopp, and the vibes of Christian Paboeuf (who also double on oboe on a couple tracks); not a typical jazz trio. And the compositions don’t exactly bring it back wholly in the jazz tent.
There is a palpable tension in the harsh calls of Lapouge’s guitar against the skittering vibes, and against the backdrop of blaring trombone notes. But then guitar grows gentle and the trombone is a friendly word in the ear and the vibes are bright and warm, and an odd serenity sets in. As dreams can be both serene and terrifying, Temporare shows no inclination to draw a dividing line between the varied emotions this album evokes.
Lapouge, a founding member of the Noetra Collective (would fit right in with early ECM world-jazz like Oregon and Terje Rypdal), may not have seen much commercial success from his music, but the development of his sound has resulted in a genuinely unique voice. Temporäre, a 2011 release on the Musea Records label, is gonna appeal to fans of Bill Frisell’s Quartet. It is an album of eerie music that happens to also be quite beautiful.
After sadly winding up his wonderful Noetra ensemble in the early/mid 1980s, guitarist and composer Jean Lapouge went more into an area closer to jazz/electric jazz/ECM sound. One of his current projects is this trio with long-time bandmate (stretching all the way back to the Noetra days) Christian Paboeuf on vibes and oboe and Christiane Bopp on trombone. Recorded in May 2009, the album reflects the sound of the band's live work. The accent here is on the tracks' simplicity and their inherent poetry. For the composer, the album strikes the delicate balance between composition and improvisation. For fans of the ECM sound, this is as good as it gets without actually being on ECM and is better than many of ECM's guitar-based trio albums.
Concert Granville (mars 2009)
La mélodie véhicule l’art de Jean Lapouge, grand trésor caché du jazz, dans sa veine la plus autonome. Autodidacte, le guitariste émerveille et intrigue les musiciens qui approchent ce singulier personnage. Jadis, Manfred Eicher – producteur visionnaire du label ECM – l’avait convoqué à Munich afin d’en savoir plus sur les secrets de son univers. Son trio actuel composé de son fidèle complice Christian Paboeuf (vibraphone et hautbois) et de la tromboniste Christiane Bopp, déjoue les codes. Cette distribution unique aux grandes capacités sonores dans l’acoustique, distille des climats à la fois baroques et contemporains, voire pop, tandis que le leader revendique sa légitimité dans l’univers du jazz actuel. A l’heure où bon nombre s’interrogent sur le sens du mot “création”, Jean Lapouge délivre une œuvre universelle aussi sophistiquée qu’accessible aux oreilles vierges.