AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Louis Minus XVI – De Anima (2017; Circum-Disc)

De Anima begins with a staggered bass / drum rhythm that is slowly joined by a pair of saxes droning out long tones. Over the course of several minutes, the piece (titled Lustig Traurig) builds in tension and direction until the wailing saxes are freely dueling over unstructured drumming, then ends with just the saxes offering a discordant final statement.

As far as I can tell, this 30-minute album is the fifth from the French group Louis Minus XVI. Consisting of Adrien Douliez and Jean-Baptiste Rubin on the aforementioned saxes, as well as Maxime Petit on bass and Frédéric L’Homme on drums, this quartet offers De Anima as a short burst of angular energy.

To that point, I Want You Lemchaheb features intertwined, angular melodies over a driving rhythm section, eventually leading to a crescendo and release. Une Certaine Dose De Tendresse offers another punctuated tempo. The saxes break apart and come together with ease, providing a sense of intent to an otherwise open-ended approach.

The overall sound of Louis Minus XVI is different from say, New York, Chicago, or London free jazz, though it shares characteristics with each. Rather than all-out improvisation, there is a sense of direction on De Anima, as each track has its beginning, middle, and end with a logical progression therebetween. This a quite a strong release that finds a compelling path between chaos and order.

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