Vincent Courtois: Mediums (RJAL 397015)

Cover

Vincent Courtois
Mediums

Vincent Courtois cello
Daniel Erdmann tenor saxophone
Robin Fincker tenor saxophone
Recording and mixing at Studio La Buissonne by Gérard de Haro
Mastering at Studio La Buissonne by Nicolas Baillard
Release date: October 23, 2012

Mediums brings together an unprecedented trio of two tenor saxophonists (Daniel Erdmann and Robin Fincker) and cellist Vincent Courtois. Described by the latter as “the story of music I’ve conceived then written, out of my childhood memories and the happiness I experienced in the fantastic world of fairgrounds and the people who work there,” it accordingly welcomes us into a fantastical world replete with colors, lights, and sounds as tensions and harmonies come together like a storm of forces. Though it takes a little time to get settled in, once the parameters are clear, we are taken on an epic childhood tour.

The pizzicato arpeggios of “Mediums” speak of a lyrical core, while the reeds unleash a guttural filigree around them. “Une inquiétante disparition” is in two split parts. From the insistent pulse of the first to the muscular bowing of the second, it turns cries into songs and back again. Between them are the whispering haunt of “Regards” (the album’s most graceful) and the locomotive exuberance of “Jackson’s Catch.” Virtuosity is applied sparingly throughout, and only for the effect of underscoring a primary sentiment.

The tender “Rita and the mediums” and “La nuit des monstres” share studio space with the programmatic (the three-part “Bengal”) and the abstract (“Entresort”). Like “The removal” that wakes us from this dream, we can take each as the beginning of another until rest seems like the memory of a life no longer lived.

If Courtois can be counted on for anything, it’s the integrity of his sonic scripts, wherein most characters are played by himself. New faces shine like the sun—melodies without any other purpose than to cast the listener’s shadow.

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