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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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LOUIS SCLAVIS QUARTET

Silk And Salt Melodies

ECM 378 6537

 

 

  1. Le parfum de l'éxil

  2. L'homme sud

  3. L'autre rive

  4. Sel et soie

  5. Dance for horses

  6. Des feux lointains

  7. Cortège

  8. Dust and dogs

  9. Prato plage

Louis Sclavis - Clarinet

Gilles Coronado - Guitar

Benjamin Moussay - Piano, keyboard

Keyvan Chemirani - Percussion

Louis Sclavis, now in his early 60's, has come a long way since his classical beginnings, although that early influence is still apparent in his playing. He has always been adventurous, open to experiment and to diverse musical styles and collaborations. This latest offering of his from ECM showcases the talents of this French clarinettist and composer alongside familiar company in Gilles Coronado on guitar and Benjamin Moussay on piano but also with Iranian percussionist Keyvan Chemirani. The results make for good listening. All the tracks were composed by Sclavis.

I found L'autre rive, Sel et soie and Dust and dogs of particular appeal. L'autre rive features some pensive piano from Moussay and smooth as velvet clarinet from Sclavis with Chemirani in particular providing sympathetic support. Sel et soie is more up-tempo. I was reminded of Miles Davis's You're Under Arrest at one early point. Sclavis is here more fervent at times than on previous tracks. There is, too, a mellow guitar contribution from Coronado. Dust and dogs has an infectious beat and quality playing all round but especially by Chemirani. Dance for horses is an ingenious and witty piece of writing with Sclavis's agile clarinet to the fore. The occasional track seemed a little below par, for example Des feux lointains, but elsewhere Sclavis and his fellow musicians provide much to appreciate. I liked Chemirani's nimble and varied percussion, the uniformly excellent Coronado on guitar (listen, for instance, to his Frisell-like solo on Le parfum de l'èxit) and Moussay's sensitive touch on piano and keyboard. Then, of course, there is the versatile and accomplished Sclavis himself to savour.

All in all, a satisfying experience.

James Poore



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