Vincent Segal: T-Bone Guarnerius
Vincent Segal, electric & acoustic cello; Magic Malik, flute, vocals; Glenn Ferris, trombone; Gilles Coronado, Seb Martel, guitar; Piers Faccini, guitar, vocals; Vic Mona, mandolin; Pascal Palisco, accordion; Mama Chandja, vocals
Label Bleu LBLC 6646 (CD). 2003. Pierre Walfisz, prod.; Philippe Teissier Du Cros, eng. ADD? TT: 66:06
Hot on the heels of my selection for R2D4 2014 of Chamber Music, his collaboration with Ballaké Sissoko, let me introduce you to another Vincent Segal album. T-Bone Guarnerius is a collection of solo and duo tracks that showcase Segal’s extremely wide horizon, including a bare-bones reworking of the Rolling Stones’ « Under My Thumb, » two tracks with American trombonist Glenn Ferris, and collaborations with Afro-French musician Mama Chandja. One critic labeled the album « transcultural zapping, » and yes, you get a series of glimpses into different musical universes, but zapping may imply a certain superficiality or arbitrariness, and there’s none of that. Each track stands up to scrutiny, and all are informed by Segal’s sheer genius; I mean, what other musician would even dare to make an interesting piece of music out of the most irritating sound known to mankind: the bleeps of a pocket alarm (in « Mercurial Gramofon, » partly recorded on the Paris Périphérique at 4am)? Every time I listen to this album, I find new beauty in it.
The tracks were recorded on a portable Nagra at various inspirational places in France, including a very small chapel on St. Michel Island, the woods of St. Germain, a flat in Marseille, and the courtyard of Segal’s Paris home. The sound is honest, with a no-nonsense simplicity that I find very appealing.