Le parfum de l'éxil
Sel et soie
Dance for horses
Des feux lointains
Dust and dogs
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.