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Marc Ducret - ICI

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery


I’m not sure what ICI means but it might mean International Contemporary Improvisers. The music on this disc is obviously written or thematic and partially improvised. Mr. Ducret starts things off on “L’été” with an ebow or slide on his guitar to coax a drone. The quartet here sound more like a chamber group with no rhythm section to hold things down. Actually, trombone great Samuel Blaser often does a fine job of playing those bottom end bass lines in a way that replaces a rhythm team. At times both horns, trumpet & trombone, play their lines together while the guitar and sax play some sly counterpoint. Still, these rolls keep changing mid-stream. For “L’automne”, Ducret plays a series of fractured, rhythmic lines on guitar while the brass & reed play some tricky, well-harmonized lines on top. Mr. Martinez takes a fine, long story-like trumpet solo here. Again Mr. Ducret begins “”l’hiver” (winter) with a buzzing note from his guitar with the three horns (Monniot on sopranino) playing some shrewd, tart harmonies. The way the horns play together is a bit disorienting as they play some slightly skewered inharmonic lines. Mr. Monniot takes a powerful baritone sax solo on this piece, slow-burning and reminding me of some early John Surman-like baritone blasts. On my first listen, I was unsure of how these pieces are connected or unfold but as I listen again, I start to hear several lines which are played by different combinations of instruments and have a melodic or directed fragment which is a bit buried unless you are listening closely and are not distracted by outside conditions. The last piece is called “Le printemps” (or Spring), while the guitar and sax play one line, the two other horns play their own quaint counterpoint lines. Each of these four pieces are named after the seasons of the year so perhaps each one represent a certain season. The bottom line is this: Marc Ducret has obviously spent some time composing this music and all of it is thoughtfully compelling. It is not about the soloing so much as it is about painting a picture in our minds of an idea, scene or short story. Another gem from the pen of Marc Ducret.