Xavier Charles

La Pièce

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While this strange, original music has been labeled as jazz, it really falls between the cracks, and is probably best described simply as free improvisation devoid of category. The studio recording captures the extraordinary clarinetist, Xavier Charles, in a set of seven pieces accompanied by "electro-acoustic devices" performed by Jean-Christophe Camps and Carole Rieussec, the latter two of which call themselves Kristoff K. Roll. The sounds produced are small and scratchy, never letting loose and never hinting at the slightest concept of melody or even harmony. This kind of "music" requires the listener to focus intently, and at times it can be uncomfortable to listen to. Whether or not it "works" is undoubtedly an individual decision, but there is no question as to the abilities of the players or of quality of the unusual, generally soft sounds produced.