Transatlantic Amazon Gods [TB#9] | October 2015, France

Like all the associations of musicians proposed by the transatlantic exchange network The Bridge, this ninth formation – already – is a story of pooling forces, an adventure sparked by desire and a few first forks in the road. For several years now, Sylvain Kassap has been crossing paths with musicians from Chicago, in a duo with Hamid Drake, for a multi-entrance project with Nicole Mitchell, or alongside Edward Wilkerson, Jr. during a dazzling visit to Illinois in June 2013… Until the idea of this quintet gradually took shape: “To my knowledge, the orchestral color is unprecedented: two voices (working on very different expressions), two clarinettists (one who plays the whole clarinet family, the other who also plays saxophones) and a drummer. This allows for a rare combination of timbres and rhythms, improvisation and the creation of a repertoire, and a blend of current free jazz and the influences of contemporary written music.

Although Wilkerson won’t be able to make the trip to France, but remains a shadow in the North American sequence of events, this combination of stories and adventures in the present tense, decidedly and resolutely, aims to provoke an encounter under the light of clarinets between the transcultural singing of Mankwe Ndosi who, between Tanzania and the Midwest, between soul and free, has worked from within several vocal traditions to forge his own, necessarily hybrid, and the chanted, hammered or sung word, the spoken flow of Mike Ladd, who has as many vocal strings to his bow of multiple meanings as are found in spoken word, slam and rap as soon as they are directly linked to high-source poetry. An inaugural confrontation took place in Montreuil, in October 2014, between Kassap, Ndosi and Ladd, before they were joined by Dana Hall, ubiquitous drummer and professor of music(s) at DePaul University, who cites among his sources of inspiration and improvisation John Carter and Jimmy Giuffre, Andrew Hill and Richard Wright, the African diaspora and the second school of Vienna, AACM and the plurality of worlds… In other words, the most formidable animator of rhythms and relationships, and the right man for the job.

translation in progress