RT 9391 (1993)

Charles Papasoff
Papasoff

Charles Papasoff : baritone & soprano sax , flute
Baikida Carroll : trumpet & flugel.

Santi Debriano
: bass
Pheeroan Aklaff
: drums
Jean Beaudet : piano


1 You Can't Escape Your Destiny (5:12)
2 Left Jab (7:20)
3 Our Thing (6:42)
4 Ti-Paul (5:27)
5 Serious (10:32)
6 Variations Sur le Lac de la Lune (9:13)
7 Fruit Loops (4:26)


comp: Papasoff 1,4,6; Caroll 2; Debriano 3; AkLaff 5 ;
Papasoff/Limoges 7

Montreal, mars, oct., nov. 1993

Liner Notes

De tous les instruments utilisés aujourd'hui. le saxophone est devenu un synonyme de l'idiome Jazz.

Dans toute I'histoire de la musique, c'est dans ce genre que cet instrument à vent a été le mieux représenté; il a engendré de grands maîtres de l'alto et du tenor, sans compter un nombre incalculable de stylistes et d'imitateurs. Même le soprano, longtemps denigré est devenu l'instrument second de plusieurs saxophonistes. Mais l'histoire est bien différente quand on en vient au volumineux baryton.

Bien sûr, lui aussi a eu sa part de dignes représentants tels Harry Carney, Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams et plus récernment, John Surman et Hammiet Bluiett, mais rien de comparable avec la longue liste d'altos ou de tenors. La où les spécialistes du baryton ont sûrement l'avantage. c'est d'avoir un champ d'action beaucoup plus vaste, vu leur nombre restreint.

Et quand il s'agit de s'exprimer sur Ie 'gros tube', Charles Papasoff peut swinger avec les meilleurs ; souffleur exubérant, au son incisif, se démarquant par ses phrasés explosifs. II a parfait son art sur les scènes montréalaises durant les 20 dernières années, autant avec les jazzmen locaux que comme accompagnateur de plusieurs artistes populaires. Son style de jeu angulalre rappelle le regretté Pepper Adams avec qui il a etudié, mais son jeu Altissimo suggère John Surman, alors qu'il partage avec Hammiet Bluiett un sens de la provocation.

Pour son premier enregistrement comme 'leader', Dame Chance lui a permis de jouer avec trois musiciens New-Yorkais reputés. Maintenant plus actif en tant que compositeur, le trompettiste Baikida Carroll participe ici à une de ses rares séances d'enregistrement. Pour cette excursion "free bop", se dresse derrière eux une section rythmique impressionnante formée de Santi Debriano à la contrebasse et de Pheeroan akLaff à la batterie. Sur l'invitation du leader, les trois musiciens ont contribué avec une composition chacun, et du début à la fin, la communion des quatre hommes se révèle des plus inspirée.

Après une pièce en solo de PAPASOFF, 'Left Jab' donne le ton de la partie "quatuor" de ce disque. Mais le k o. decisif vient de la piece suivante "Our Thing" de M. Debriano qui après un départ sur un rythme calypso inoffensif, se développe rapidement en un chassé-croisé sans retenue des souflleurs. Suit une piece très lyrique du leader, intitulée "Ti-Paul', qui se veut une dédicace au triomphe d'un aîné sur l'illettrisme. L'orchestre enchaîne ensuite avec la composition "Serious' du batteur, déja parue sur l'album de celui-ci; on peur dire que c'est pour eux un véhicule reflétant bien un haut niveau technique et leur sens de l'improvisation indéniables.

PAPASOFF complète l'enregistrement avec 'Variations sur le Lac de la Lune", en duo avec le pianiste Jean Beaudet, suivi de 'Fruit loops', enregistré en trames superposées, une composition originale où iI joue seul de ses instruments. Ces morceaux lui permettent de mettre en évidence son jeu à la flute, au soprano et au baryton.

Solide improvisateur, le Montréalais est prêt à concrétiser une carrière internationale déjà bien entamée (il a déjà reçu la notation "T.D.W. R." de la revue Downbeat). Au moment où j'écris ces notes, Charles Papasoff s'apprête a s'envoler pour la Suisse, étant le soliste invité pour une série de spectacles et un enregistrement avec le Big Band de Lausanne. Mais pendant ce temps, cet album initial ouvre la voie à de nouvelles experiences musicales que l'imagination de PAPASOFF saura rendre stimulantes

Marc Chénard
Novembre 1993

Of all instruments in use today, the saxophone has virtually become synonymous with the jazz idiom.

Over the music's short but compressed history, that horn has been better represented in that genre than any other one. It has spawned great masters of the alto and tenor not to mention the incredible number of stylists and imitators influenced by these major figures. Even the soprano, once maligned for its tuning problems, has become every reedman's doubling instrument nowadays. But the story changes when it comes to the weighty baritone.

Sure, it too has had its share of leaders, be they Harry Carney, Gerry Mulligan, Pepper Adams or more contemporary players like John Surman and Harriet Bluiett, but any jazz fan will be somewhat hard-pressed to rattle off as long a list of these hornmen as that of their alto and tenor counterparts. Given their smaller numbers, these specialists of the big horn may also have the advantage of a wider field to play in, less cluttered than the one which other saxmen have to contend with.

And when it comes to getting around on that axe, Charles Papasoff knows how to swing it with the best of them. An ebullient player with a razor sharp sound, he can cut through with his explosive turns of phrase. He has been honing his craft for 20 years on that horn, paying his dues on the Montreal scene, both in local jazz groups and numerous commercial bands backing pop singers. Stylistically, his angular playing conjures the spirit of the late Pepper Adams, with whom PAPASOFF studied informally, though his altissimo playing stems from John Burman's mastery, not to mention some of Harriet Bluiett's bravado thrown in for good measure.

For this, his first and long overdue debut as a leader, lady luck has finally given him the chance to play with a threesome of stellar New York performers. More active as a composer now, trumpeter Baikida Carroll makes one of his rare recording appearances in this churning free bop outing. Behind them, it's hard to go wrong with the double-barrelled rhythm team of Santi Debriano on bass and Pheeroan akLaff on drums. From the first downbeat to the last cymbal splash, all four men rise to the occasion, everyone pitching in a tune of his own along the way.

After the philosophical musing entitled "You can't escape your destiny", the band comes in with a "Left jab" that sets the tone for the quartet part of this disc. But the ringer here is the Debriano opus "Our Thing" which might innocuously start on a calypso-like beat, but rapidly develops into a no-holds barred melee for the horns.
After a lyrical "T-Paul", a PAPASOFF dedication to an elderly gentleman's triumph over illiteracy, the band moves swiftly through the drummer's "Serious", heard on his own band's release, a title which reflects the level of blowing, one might say.

"Variations sur le lac de la tune", a duet with pianist Jean Beaudet, and "Fruit loops", a layered solo track by PAPASOFF himself, complete the set. These pieces allow him to showcase his flute handling, his sinewy baritone playing as well as those wafting tones of his soprano (yes, he too is another doubter on the smaller horn, and a fluent one at that).

A gritty improviser, Charles Papasoff is now poised to move up from his local status to that of TDWR (as noted in a Down Beat Critic's Poll). In fact, as of this writing, he is about to travel to Switzerland as an invited guest of the Big Band de Lausanne, with a recording date lined up during his stay. In the meantime, this recording marks an auspicious beginning, on a road that will hopefully lead to other stimulating ventures. In the open spaces of baritone country, here is one man capable of covering all terrains at will !!

Marc Chénard - November 1993



AMG Album Review


"This CD was Montreal saxophonist Charles Papasoff’s first album as a leader, and the first release by the avant-garde jazz label Red Toucan. It focuses on the saxophonist’s playing more than on his writing, especially in the quartet pieces. The album opens on a soprano saxophone solo, “You Can’t Escape Your Destiny,” a delicate melody. Follow four quartet tracks recorded with trumpeter Baikida Carroll, ... Read MoreThis CD was Montreal saxophonist Charles Papasoff’s first album as a leader, and the first release by the avant-garde jazz label Red Toucan. It focuses on the saxophonist’s playing more than on his writing, especially in the quartet pieces. The album opens on a soprano saxophone solo, “You Can’t Escape Your Destiny,” a delicate melody. Follow four quartet tracks recorded with trumpeter Baikida Carroll, bassist Santi Debriano, and drummer Pheeroan Aklaff. Each musician contributed a composition for this section, Aklaff’s “Serious” stealing the show. Here Papasoff plays his baritone saxophone (his instrument of choice) like a demented animal. The energy simmers down for the last two tracks. “Variations sur le Lac de la Lune” is a duet for flute and piano (with Jean Beaudet) based on film music written by Papasoff. Almost pastoral, it contrasts heavily with the churning baritone opening of “Fruit Loops,” a piece of multi-tracked flute, baritone and soprano saxophone. Could the title be a wink at Didier Malherbe’s “Flute Salad” (on Gong’s album Angel’s Egg)? The piece foretells Papasoff’s next project, the International Baritone Conspiracy. This CD is a typical career-launch album, a calling card showing the man’s aptitude as a composer and versatility as a player. It lacks a bit of cohesion, but holds a handful of promises that will blossom later on throughout his 1990s releases." ~ François Couture, All Music Guide

verge-october 1998

"Charles Papasoff is an ebullient player with a razor-sharp sound, he can cut through any tune with his explosive turns of phrase. He has honing his craft for 20 years, paying his dues on the Montreal scene. For this, his first and long-overdue as a leader, lady luck has finally given him the chance to play a threesome of stellar New York performers. "

http://www.vergemusic.com/old/1098.htm

 

"Papasoff is, on the basis of this stimulating recording, one of the top baritonists around in the 90`s.¨
-Scott Yanow



¨The most impressive Canadian baritone player...wild and wonderful. ¨
-Mark Miller