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New French Jazz, Classical and Contemporary Music Albums to Discover in April!

For the beginning of spring, enjoy good French music with our selection of new jazz, classical and contemporary album releases!

Jazz: 

Autoportrait by Clovis Nicolas 

Clovis Nicolas is known for his precise, warm and solid playing, as well as his flexibility. These talents have made him one of the most sought-after double bassists in Paris and in New York, where he has lived since 2003. In this solo album, the double bass player shows all the musical possibilities his instrument offers. With Autoportrait Clovis Nicolas proves once again his excellence, the accuracy of his playing, but also his imagination and his rereading of certain pieces. Discover on this album some original creations but also a cover of "Solitude" by Duke Ellington. Release on April 16, 2021. 

On April 14, 2021, tune in to the third French Jazz Series@Smalls concert with the Clovis Nicolas quintet, featuring Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Jon Boutellier (sax), Miki Yamanaka (piano), and Jimmy Macbride (drums), live on the Cultural Services' Facebook.

Bach Mirror by Thomas Enhco and Vassilena Serafimova

To this day, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach continues to resonate and inspire new generations of artists. Far beyond the religious Baroque age that saw its birth, far from the harpsichord, the choirs or the organ for which it was composed, it can be reinvented. Bach MirrorVassilena Serafimova and Thomas Enhco's second album, is another shimmering proof. The 13 tracks form a mirror effect between past and present and allow Bach's music to be confronted with jazz accents thanks to the pianist Thomas Enhco and the Bulgarian percussionist Vassilena Serafimova. Bach Mirror is also playful, as one tries to recognize each transposition with enthusiasm. 

Classical Music: 

Piazzola Stories, by Lucienne Renaudin Vary

With Piazzolla Stories, trumpet player Lucienne Renaudin Vary pays homage to the standards of the "nuevo tango" of composer Astor Piazzolla and a variety of composers with personal and musical ties to his work: the French-born Argentine Carlos Gardel; the Argentine modernist Alberto Ginastera; Johann Sebastian Bach; the virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini; and teacher and composer Nadia Boulanger. The album is composed of 14 tracks, an eclectic program with different ensembles and many guests featured: the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte Carlo conducted by Sascha Goetzel, in a duo with accordion player Richard Galliano or with guitarist Thibaut Garcia. Lucienne Renaudin Vary beautifully captures the sensuality and sophistication of Argentinian tango, in perfect harmony with the other artists who accompany the hypnotic music of her trumpet. 

Cadenza, by Sonia Wieder-Atherton

In her album Cadenza, which features her arrangement of Luigi Boccherini's concertos, Sonia Wieder-Atherton wants "to bring out the [composer's] colors, rhythms, dances, melodies and countermelodies" and successfully transports the listener into the composer's captivating world. Using her cello as a means of storytelling, as the voice she originally chose, the international artist, who defines music as "a universal language and matter" gives us a chance to take part in a unique, oniric dialogue, full of tensions, movement and leaps of faith. She adds to the Italian composer's pieces her own musical digressions, her own moments of lyrical daydreaming (cadences), and is accompanied by Françoise Rivalland (cymbalom), Amaryllis Billet (violin), Rémi Magnan (double bass), Robin Billet (bassoon).

Contemporary Music: 

Cris by Thierry Escaich

Composer, but also organist and improviser, Thierry Escaich does not dissociate the three aspects of his art. It allows him to mix in his concerts creation and interpretation in the most diverse combinations. As a composer, but also performer, Thierry Escaich can reconnect with the great history of music by combining the two practices, and thus become the creator of his own compositions. A sought-after organist and guest of the most prestigious venues, he is naturally one of those who cross the boundaries between composition, improvisation and interpretation

The orchestral base of Cris is an ensemble formed by two percussionists and an accordion. The presence of a group of 8 cellos responds to the narrator and the possibility of a black lyricism was imposed for this commemoration of a battle.

Galaxie Pierre Henry

Pierre Henry, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 90, influenced entire generations of electronic musicians and DJs. Galaxie, the massive 13-CD box set released by Decca Records, is an opportunity to delve into the amazing, inventive, and poetic world of Pierre Henry's works, composed between 1958 and 2017. A pioneer of concrete and electroacoustic music, Pierre Henry worked as a craftsman on magnetic tapes, edited and reassembled ad infinitum to create sound worlds based on the noises and sounds of life, before the digital era. Though he didn't consider himself as a musician, he inspired celebrities such as Fatboy Slim, Coldcut or Saint Germain, who remixed Pierre Henry's work as a tribute. 


French Jazz Series is supported by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

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