Thrilling Alga Marghen: a salvaged reel-to-reel recording of a key ’69 performance by prodigious drummer Jacques Thollot and band.
Not a name usually mentioned as part of the free jazz canon but a storied figure among a certain breed of freak (indeed, he's on the NWW list), Thollot was a drummer at Paris’ Blue Note jazz club by the age of 13. It was the start of a career that would see him play for the likes of Chet Baker, Barney Wilen, Don Cherry and Pharaoh Sanders. Intra Musique thrums with a timely (revolutionary?) psychedelic energy and is grounded in Thollot's perfectly controlled and anarchic drumming (tautology entirely appropriate in this case) - the bedrock-cum-dervish around which piano (Eddie Gaumont, who died shortly after this performance) and alto sax (Michel Portal) tiptoe with fragile tension. Together they shift effortlessly, often abruptly, from uninhibited death-throe skronk to passages of sublimely lyrical balladry, and all points between ("Jacques Thollot is not just one of the greatest abandoned jazz composers: he is the one who abandons himself to all its forms.” - A.M.) Add to this the hiss, crackle and at times red-hot sound of the recording and you’re transported right back to the Paris-in-flames of the late 1960s. A powerful and resonant artefact. Edition of 350.