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Friday, June 28, 2013

André Hodeir - "Anna Livia Plurabelle"

André Hodeir – Anna Livia Plurabelle
Vinyl LP, 1966

An jazz opera? A conceptual jazz recording? It's André Hodeir which means something unique, a tad strange, and beautifully played. Hodeir was a jazz composer, jazz theorist, film composer and conductor. Almost border-line avant-garde but with strong be-bop roots. In many ways he's the Gil Evans of France. Also a pal of Boris Vian and other American jazz players as well as working with the leading French jazz musicians of his time. So in my book that makes him an exceptional fellow.

Here he's working with the French greats including the dynamic vocalist Nicole Croisille, with words by James Joyce, this is a textural jazz big band piece. Which sounds like its forced on paper is actually an incredible listening experience.  I smell a whiff of genius whenever I hear the name of André Hodeir.