Pierre Courbois

Independence

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Dutch percussionist Pierre Courbois has had a long career in jazz, jazz-rock, and free music, playing alongside everyone from Eric Dolphy to Willem Breuker. In 1983, he recorded this intriguing and, for its time, fairly advanced solo album wherein he combines aspects of all the above-mentioned genres as well as a healthy dollop of real-time electronic sampling and processing. Unlike many similar explorations from the beginnings of live, electronic sound manipulation, Courbois' results don't sound dated at all, his interactions with the looped signals generally coming across as intense and imaginative. Not all of the pieces utilize electronics however, and when in "standard" drum mode he seems to take his cues from Max Roach's melodic approach, treating each piece as a song unto itself and taking care to bring to the fore the more musical possibilities of his kit. While perhaps not up to the creative heights of geniuses like Roach or Ed Blackwell, Courbois nonetheless manages to sustain the listener's attention throughout most of the recording, which is no mean feat. Independence is interesting and enjoyable listening for jazz fans with slightly advanced and open ears.

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