Jazz CD Reviews

Daniel Humair – Sweet & Sour- Laborie Records

Not for the faint of heart.

Published on December 20, 2012

Daniel Humair – Sweet & Sour- Laborie Records

Daniel Humair – Sweet & Sour – Laborie Records LJ19, 54:13 [Distr. by Naxos] **:

(Daniel Humair – drums; Emile Parisien – saxophones; Vincent Peirani – accordion; Jérome Regard – bass)

Those aficionados who follow the European jazz scene will probably be familiar with the name Daniel Humair as he was the go-to Swiss drummer for all those American musicians who were visiting, living, and recording in Paris from the mid ‘50s onward. In this release entitled Sweet & Sour, the reaction is probably going to be much like the food association itself depending on your taste; is more coming or enough is enough.

This session is not easy listening. There are liner notes that discuss musical concepts but not the music itself, and since the track names offer no assistance, listeners are pretty much left to fend for themselves. The music is primarily polytonal free-form jazz with much screeching and braying, but little in the way of musicality. The opening track by Jane Ira Bloom entitled “A Unicorn In Captivity” sets the table for what is to come. There are a variety of tempos and intensity of the instruments, with an interaction that is a challenge to interpret. The balance of the disc continues in much the same way whether it is “Ground Zero”, “Oppression” or “Road To Perdition”. The music poses a series of questions, propelled by Humair’s drums with the other players responding, proposing new forms, or seemingly chatting away with sounds that may relate to the compositions underpinnings. In the liner notes Humair explains it this way:” ..each musician must work quite freely while always staying attentive to the rest of the group in order to improve the sound,.. but also to generate new directions as (sic) for the common improvisation”.

I am sure this music has its good points for some, just not for me.

TrackList: A Unicorn In Captivity; Ground Zero; Care; 7A3; T2T3; Oppression; Shubertauster; Debsh; Ground One; Road To Perdition

—Pierre Giroux




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