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Bird's Improvisation #1
This movie was shot on Friday the 13th of June 2008. It shows a total improvisation with dancer and choreographer Toshiko Oiwa.

Originally from Japan, she's spent 11 years in New York in the 90's where she has danced with Twyla Tharp first, and then the Bill T Jones company with which she has toured the world. From 2002 to 2005, she stayed in Aix en Provence, south of France, where she worked under Preljocaj's direction. She now focuses on more personal projects, and just obtained a grant from Japan for an extensive stay in Brazil.

We met last year through my friend Vincent Sacripanti, even though I saw her in a Bill T Jones show some years ago. We had talked about doing this for a while. When we met this day, we decided to not give each other any direction at all, and instead to leave this performance totally open. The fact that I play without directly seeing her was the only thing we agreed upon before starting which allowed me to stay connected to her dancing in a much more organic way. Seeing her, in fact, would have been way too distractive.

This experience took me back to when I was myself in New York and was getting so much from its unique energy. I felt very much connected to the moment and to her dancing while quite oblivious of myself in the same time.

Kind of like playing with a killing rhythm section. Her dancing is very deep. Deep like music can be. When it reaches such a high level of artistry, it gives me the same satisfaction.

If you can spare the time, I think it's best to look at it in a quiet environment. It lasts a little less than 47 minutes. If you listen with headphones, you should be able to hear the birds, and some of the piano harmonics.

Hope you like it. Feel free to drop your comments.
Bird's Improvisation #2
a new improvisation took place at the Dance and Music Conservatory in Montreuil, near Paris, on April 10, 2009. We kept the same setting ; I turn my back on Toshiko and feel her dance solely through the energy it diffuses. It is very intense and very zen at the same time. This improvisation is shorter than the previous one (see above) - less than 25 minutes - yet probably more forceful. This time, the kids who were waiting to enter the room are replacing the birds. Don't hesitate to switch to full screen mode.
Tribute to the great Fred Hersch

This is Fred Hersch's composition Valentine that he often plays as an encore. That is precisely what he did last Friday the 4th of November, 2011, at Sunside in Paris where he played with John Hebert and Eric McPherson and I couldn't take it out of my head. So here is my version. Here's to you Fred !


Miguel Zenón & Laurent Coq - Rayuela
On May, 15, 2012, Rayuela, the album I co-signed with (New-York based) puerto-rican alto player Miguel Zenón comes out in France. The repertoire that we both wrote equally is inspired by the great novel Rayuela by Argentinian writer Julio Cortazar (Hopscotch in English). Aside from piano and alto saxophone, the daring instrumentation includes Dana Leong's trombone and cello, and Dan Weiss's drums and tablas. Published on New-York label Sunnyside Records, the album is distributed by Naïve in France. U.S Released date is July 31st.
Available for download on CD quality (Lossless 16 bits 44.1 kHz) at Qobuz website.

Back to school with Jérôme Sabbagh

This video was part of a series (NY Jazzed Out) that documented New York musicians performing in uncommon and odd places. On that one, my old friend Jérôme Sabbagh and myself played at an elementary school in Queens. On that very day, getting there has been a huge hassle for a big snow storm hit the city the day before and this part of town was no easy to access. Which didn't turned down the many young students - mainly from asian descent - who wandered in the school hallways.

This is one of the most striking discovery I made lately ; Italian artist Blu (Jonathan Levine Gallery, New York). If his witty website reflects pretty well the scope of his artistry, you MUST see these two movies that will blow your mind away. The first one is made with American artist David Ellis. The second one, shot at Buenos Aires and Baden, is as remarkable and powerful. This work uses the Stop-Motion technic ; each frame is a picture taken separately. The movie is made simply by adding the frames together. Absolutely NO special effect of any kind. Just days of hard work, dedication, and endless imagination. Pure genius. If, like me, this powerful work leaves you speechless, make a donation here.