Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Jean-Francois Pauvros & Gaby Bisien-NO MAN'S LAND LP (free download available here)

Jac Berrocal-MUSIQ MUSIK LP (originally released on the Futura label in France, free download available here)

I mean, who woulda believed it?!? Here I was, just mindin' my own business thinking nothing but good wholesome thoughts and what should arrive inna mail but this package from none other than Bill Shute! Whatta guy, he remembered my birthday (and I never remember his which is why I buy him an extra-special big and costly present for Christmas which is more fun 'n birthdays anyway because of the penchant for more gifts!) and what should the ol' pooperoo send me but a whole slew of Cee-Dee-Are burned offa the internet along with a DVD set of the MATCH GAME that comes inna flimsy package where the disques tend to fall out all over the place! It's sure great to know that people like Bill are out there thinking of me, that is unless you count that weird package I received just the other day postmarked Melbourne Australia that arrived looking like it was put together by an insane Albanian dwarf with about three spools of masking tape holding it together. I think after soaking it in the stationary tub overnight it should be safe to open without me being torn to smithereens, you ol' Unabomber you!

But oh man those jazz Cee-Dees the man sent! I guess ol' Mr. S is making up for that previous package which had its share of free jazz wonders true, but also some more easy-listening-attuned platters he got off that old Iron Curtain elpee download blog chock fulla these records custom made for overweight saltmine workers with heavy beards and drooping pecs to cool down after a good eighteen-hour workday. As far as their husbands go I dunno what they listen to, but those hefty babes sure need something to soothe their aching minds along with their aching thighs from a day of rubbing together more than any chafing cream could hope to do!

But Bill did good to download these wonders for me...I guess he also hits the Mutant Sounds blog as well which is where I also found these two rarities waiting for my virgin ears. I grouped both of these together not only because they were released by particularly fringe-y artists on extremely obscure labels nor because both of these disques are of a seventies vintage and French in origin, but because they just happened to be the ones I wanted to hear first amongst all of the burns that Bill sent my way. I hope that proves to you that my mind works in a totally non-linear abstract fashion, which come to think of it might just be the norm these days. I knew that the times would eventually catch up with me!

Jean-Francois Pauvros is one of those names that I've seen tossed about o'er the years, but as far as I can tell the only recording other'n this that I happen to possess is that one he did with Mahogany Brain mastermind Michel Bulteau entitled RINCURES. I must admit that one hasn't been getting spun around here as much as the Mahogany Brain elpees proper which is something I hope to change in the very near future considering the tres avant style and grace that goes into Pauvros' artistic DNA. So it's sure grand that Bill send a copy of this mid-seventies album (label unknown!) that this Frenchman did with a Gaby Bizien entitled NO MAN'S LAND which I must admit is a real killer, a duo recording that ranks up there with a whole slew of indecipherable jazz duo disques ranging from those Rashied Ali platters either with Frank Lowe or Leroy Jenkins on Survival or even the infamous Doug Snyder/Bob Thompson DAILY DANCE, a rec which I thought NO MAN'S LAND was going to come painfully close to.

Not close, and no cigar for sure cuz this Pauvros/Bizien endeavor is more slow-burn than overkill...and for the most part it is not a standard guitar/drums all-out fest in the grand trad of DD or a few of those Blue Human outings where Rudolph Grey would get it up with a freedom percussionist of verifiable notoriety. Pauvros seems to play more than his rather Arto/Neto-ish guitar including what sounds like a wood flute as well as an accordion or a squeeze box of some makeup (whilst playing some old Euro folky thing he probably wowed the peasants with age seven!) while Bizien clanks and prods a whole number of percussives, some of the standard variety while others sound like they came from a NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC garage sale (such as the balafon), and the overall effects are akin to something yer dad woulda thought was a buncha chimpanzees or hippies (same thing) banging on pots and pans while aimlessly strumming some electric guitars before being shocked to death. Naturally we all know better, I think.

Anyway it is a mesmerizing if oft chaotic album that I hope will rise outta obscurity and worm its way into your heart one of these days, since it does fit well into that mad European free music take that had its own inimitable style, charm and perhaps insanity to boot. Now if somebody would only post the song titles and give us a li'l more bg info than the web is letting on even this late in the game.

Pauvros' sometimes working partner Jac Berrocal is pretty well known on the Euro avant front and the fact that a nice biography of this guy hasn't been laid before us only goes to prove the generally sad state of what is and isn't considered important on the musical front underground or otherwise. Berrocal's done it all from free jazz to vocalese to even what some would call punk rock (perhaps in that great early-seventies JAMZ sorta way), and the fact that the only recorded output I have of him by way of vinyl is his appearance of the United Dairies AN AFFLICTED MAN'S MUSICAL BOX is pretty shameful if you ask me. I have tried to rectify this situation by attempting to purchase various available offerings via Forced Exposure but they always seem to be sold out by the time I get to 'em which is, as they say in San Francisco, a drag, queen.

Thankfully this burn courtesy Shute helps out, it being none other than Berrocal's debut album from '73 recorded for the French Futura label which as we all should know is the same company that gave us the debut Mahogany Brain head-splitter for a week or so before that proto-punk rave became sold out for years on end. Don't expect a free jazz all-out screechfest here, and in fact don't expect anything coming near what your ideas of what avant jazz is supposed to be for this, like Mahogany Brain, is European free sound that reminds me more of those early Futurist recordings out of twenties Italy than they do the even-newer-than-new jazz thang that spawned more than a few small labels over Europe way. Percussion clang, bells tinkle and trumpet blasts here and there, and were those bagpipes coming in? You can tell this is a powerful album because even explosives were used, and I am happy to say that no lives were lost in the making of this album. A good comparison would be the Donald Garrett and Zusann Kali Fasteau Sea Ensemble album on ESP, perhaps with a more Gallic approach to sound deconstruction.

And, wonders of wonders, Bill has included even more Frenchie free music in this package including a Christian Vander album recorded during the early days of Magma which promises to be a hard hoot in the post-Coltrane bop! Stay tuned, and whatever you do tune into the above albums for a one-way trip I'm sure you won't wanna come back from!


Serena WmS. Burroughs said...


In regards to
"considering the tres avant style and grace that goes into Pauvros' artistic DNA," you may wish to seek out the album that JFP did with Arto Lindsay, Terry Day, and Ted Milton (of Blurt fame) for Nato...

I consider it to be top-shelf stuff, though Ted Milton was dismissive of it when I asked him about it.

Yours in concrete friendship,
AK, formerly of XØX...

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...


That Pauvros LP is titled "Le Grand Amour" and is Nato 599. It seems to be available from cadencebuildingdotcom for $10, and from dtmgallerydotcom for $15.

I think the only Berrocal vinyl that I have is a 10" (on Alga Marghen?) that has JB doing "I Want To Be Your Dog" with James Chance.

Tim Wrong said...

"JB doing "I Want To Be Your Dog" with James Chance."

"I Want To Be Your Dog"? What a goof!

Serena WmS. Burroughs said...

From the If I Had the Dough Department:

CATALOGUE [JAC [JACQUES] BERROCAL/JEAN-FRANCOIS PAUVROS/GILBERT ARTMAN] - Brussel Live [LP + 7"] (Mettre a Fond X; EEC) "Highlights of their first 2 concerts in about 20 years, live in Brussels (2007-2008), shows the trio of Artman, Berrocal and Pauvros anarchistic, powerful and controversial as ever. LP with 1-sided fluo green bonus 7" (minimal rock & roll version of 'Be bop a Lula'), edition of 200 copies hand-numbered and signed by Artman, Berrocal, Pauvros. ... after several years on tour in different galaxies the group returns on earth, notably in the region of Brussels."
"Uncertain rockers, exacerbated free jazzmen, pranksters, Jean-Francois Pauvros: guitarist, Jac Berrocal: trumpeter and vocalist, Gilbert Artman: drummer and pianist are a bit of everything, rock stomping, boring the avant-garde, enraging the virtuosity. Trespassing the unbreakable with the surprises of clumsiness they reach a flamboyant music. It smells like sulphur, like a desperate laugh."
LP + 7" for $45
(Listing from