Crispell, Hauser, Léandre, Leimgruber



[traduction française non disponible]

Quartet Noir span a significant body of experience — individually, first of all, and then in various ensemble groupings. Urs Leimgruber and Fritz Hauser share an extended history, as a duo, and bassist makes three — Joëlle Léandre is a longstanding partner. Marilyn Crispell has worked with Leimgruber and Hauser at least since 1994. Nor is this their initial convergence as quartet: see their previous eponymous Victo release from 1999. How do these experiences combine into a single groupthink? Given what we may know about them in other contexts, risks are inevitable — remember, this is improvisation, before and after — and indeterminacy reigns. But in this case, experience provides continuity, and collaboration proves the process of tacit agreement. All music seems to flow, of course, in the ear/mind of the listener, and this is one reason why Quartet Noir’s long-form improvisations create an ambience filled with details that are new and unfamiliar, and yet may be experienced as whole, cohesive, and satisfying — unpredictable, but not unknown. It is possible to be comfortable within the environment they create, which has been influenced by past experiences (theirs, in what they have done; ours, by what we have heard) and collaborative efforts in the here-and-now, and which takes a form dependent as much upon our sense of receptive engagement as their actively creative interaction. The joy is in the ear of the beholder, then and now.

[Art Lange, Chicago, vii-2005]