Damien Argentieri (org), Frederic Borey (ts), Alain Tissot (d)
Bar code: 8427328435345
“PICASSO”, the third effort by UNITRIO, was born on the road, somewhere between here and there, while the trio was touring. Our daily exchanges revealed a common wish to write music based on the work of another artist… a musician, painter, cinema director…
Very soon we were drawn towards the art of painting, and then naturally to Picasso, his work, his paintings and designs reached us and talked to us. The fact that just his name summons a whole different universe, using such a powerful , uniquely personal language, made the choice easier.
In addition to pushing us out of our comfort zone, this exercise gives the listener a singular approach to the works of Picasso we have chosen: it allows him to “read” a canvas while being guided by the musical highlights proposed by UNITRIO, and to “travel” inside the music while looking at a pictorial score, the original source.
"Buste de femme" and "Femmes d’Alger d’après Delacroix" become then three different versions, with each composer proposing his own interpretation of the painting. “L’Acrobate,” on the other hand, is told by par Frederic Borey, “La nouvelle ronde de la jeunesse” by Alain Tissot and “Massacre en Corée” by Damien Argentieri.
We hope this album will take you somewhere you may not have gone by yourselves, a place where your imagination, ours and who knows, maybe even Pablo Picasso’s, meet. Have a good listen and a good trip.
"Picasso loved bullfighting more than he did music. Nevertheless, the world of jazz has long chosen to pay diverse homage to the protean Spaniard: witness the way in which the ever-changing Miles Davis was known as the Picasso of the music; the founding of Norman Granz's Pablo Records in 1973, the year of Picasso's death, and recordings such as Hawkins' Picasso and David Murray's Picasso Suite. This, the third release from the ultra-thoughtful French-Swiss Unitrio, refreshes the theme in an accessible, well-programmed and beautifully packaged album.
I say “accessible” because one might imagine music concerned in part with such disturbing images as Buste De Femme of 1943 and Massacre En Corée of 1951 to contain some free-fired moments of deconstruction and fury. There is some strong playing here, especially in the latter stages of Massacre, as well as some eerily cast, chromatically “distanced” moments – e.g., the moody atemporal abstractions which initiate L'Acrobate and which also distinguish parts of Femmes D'Alger, one of the album's loveliest pieces. But the overall tone or tenor of music as ad libitum and reflective as it is diversely swinging, and as intelligently voiced as it is, at times, lightly funky and sensuous (hear Buste De Femme) is as consonant as it is questing.
The set-up of organ, tenor sax and drums carries both mainstream-modern associations and a latter-day touch of the avant-garde - and as such, is well suited to address the work of an artist as deeply rooted in tradition as he was committed to change and innovation. This is fine, poetically conceived music, with measure after measure of full-toned yet spaciously deployed tenor from the ever-subtle Borey and many a shifting atmospheric figure from the equally excellent Argentieri and Tissot."
Michael Tucker (November, 2017)
Jazz Journal Magazine