Wednesday, 25 March, 2009

Michel Portal - !Dejarme Solo! (1991)

"With its conflation of modes and leaps into bitonality and even tritonality, the daring, experimental Dejarme Solo! stretches Michel Portal's ultra-modern inclinations even further into the avant-garde. Recorded in 1979, this album invites the active participation of the listener, who is challenged to complete the void normally occupied by conventional expectations. The opening track, "En El Campo", features Portal's jagged, angular solos over a slowly metamorphosing two-note rhythm that repeats obsessively. The displaced temporal flow continues in "Desert Sun", in which Portal's scorched lines serve as a conduit from mankind's past to an unresolved present. "African Ritual" perpetuates the hallucinatory spell through primitive figures and a raw, objective mood. At other times the soloist behaves in a downright raucous fashion, as if he is on a mission to liberate his instrument . Only in the final track, "Bat Sarrou", does Portal concede a sense of the familiar. Claude Ermelin's multi-layered engineering allows the instrumentalist to display his complete command of the saxophone family , several clarinets , and the bandoneon. The key is to expect the unexpected: Dejarme Solo! is an experimental journey with the exhilarating and disorienting unpredictability of life itself." ~ Kevin Mulhall



Michel Portal was born on 27 November 1935, in Bayonne, France. Portal is as comfortable playing a Mozart clarinet concerto as he is performing a Stockhausen intuitive piece, or scoring a film on bandoneon and playing free jazz on various reeds - he has always surprised. Francois Tusques, Sunny Murray, Joachim Kühn and John Surman are just some of the artists who have made use of his talents in a jazz context. Although accused by some of being over-clinical as a soloist, he has produced a number of remarkable recordings with editions of his ever-changing unit. Many leading French and Swiss players have passed through the ranks, while his Men's Land from 1987 featured Jack DeJohnette and Dave Liebman. He has won the French César Award for his soundtrack work on three occasions.

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Michel Portal plays:

Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Contrebass Clarinet, Tenora, Soprano, Sopranino, Bandoneon, Percussions.


1. En EL Campo (3:45)
2. Desert Sun (4:15)
3. African Ritual (6:38)
4. Give Me A Chance (4:02)
5. Buffone (3:16)
6. Tenoras (1:19)
7. Dejarme Solo! (2:26)
8. Bat Sarrou (3:09)

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