Avec is an interesting case of literature translated into music. Pianist Jacques Demierre worked with excerpts of poems by Guillevic, a relatively unknown 20th century French poet. He created a score of 21 pages, each of them containing a certain amount of carefully-placed short excerpts. Page and music composition become one as the pianist interprets the words and their arrangement. The recording heard on this CD is taken from the premiere performance at the In-Folio festival in Geneva, May 2, 1997. It reveals a talented improviser with a captivating artistic sense. The set opens with soft knocks on the piano's wood frame. Demierre's expressive range goes from delicate plucks inside the bowels of the instruments to tempestuous chord smashing. Comparisons to Keith Tippett and even Cecil Taylor come to mind, but he has a voice of his own, often closer to contemporary classical music than free jazz. The CD, released on the Swiss label Plainisphare, is packaged in a white Digipack with the score fully reproduced (poems in French only). It makes an enjoyable object for the ear and the eye. Recommended.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture