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Idle Moments

Jef Gilson - Le Massacre Du Printemps

Jef Gilson - Le Massacre Du Printemps

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First ever vinyl reissue of this rare avant-garde oddity from 1971, which was recorded as an homage to composer Igor Stravinsky the day after his passing. Earlier that year Jef Gilson and his Unit had decided to experiment with total free improv, widening the scope of the trio by using a big array of percussion: timbales, bongos, gongs, bells, xoodblocks, claves, maracas, prepared piano, balafon, Hohner pianos, and various percussions from Madagascar. This curious and furiously free homage to classical music mixes jazz, contemporary and electroacoustic music, evoking John Cage as much as Pierre Henry or the Art Ensemble of Chicago. With Pierre Moret on organ and Jean-Claude Pourtier on drums, Gilson improvises with style and gusto. On ‘Le Massacre du Printemps’ - which was choreographed for “Les Ballets Modernes de Paris” in 72 - Gilson also plays tuba and English horn while Claude Jeanmaire gets involved on prepared piano. “Spring, for the four musicians here, is windswept: billowing, rumbling, frantic, it sounds like Stravinsky played by the ‘Percussions de Strasbourg’ without a scoresheet!” After this (terrific) massacre, Gilson and co offer us five more “unpremeditated spontaneous expressions”. Some pretty wild and cosmic stuff for fans of Sun Ra and Pierre Henry alike.

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