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Alain Markusfeld — Chroniques de l'Éphémère
((Not on label) no#, 2022, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2023-02-21

Chroniques de l'Éphémère Cover art

Throughout the 70s, Alain Markusfeld forged an interesting career, primarily as a guitarist, first exploring psychedelic sounds in a group setting, then returning later in the decade primarily as a solo guitarist and pianist with a more ambitious progressive approach. Following a solo tour in 1980 from which the tracks for a double live LP were gathered, Markusfeld essentially went silent fot nearly 30 years (save a single released in 1984.) In 2012 he released six new cuts recorded from 1989 through 2010 plus six remastered cuts from two of his late 70s albums as Roll Over the Eiger Trail, and since that time he has kept a steady pace releasing new recordings every couple years, and since 2019 there has been a new one every year. The current album, from late 2022, Chroniques de l'Éphémère, follows a new style he has been exploring in the last decade, something akin to avant-garde explorative chamber jazz, though very much of his own creation, composing all of the parts and playing all the instruments, which include piano, synthesizers, strings (violin, etc.), woodwinds (saxes and clarinet), mallets, drums, percussion, and more, for the most part in an instrumental format — not counting the voice / voice samples on three of the album’s cuts. The 20 tracks cover a total of nearly 72 minutes, though individually are between two and five. Each piece of this puzzle is a wandering collection of ideas that at any time could go just about anywhere imaginable, though the three aforementioned terms — jazz, chamber, and avant-garde, apply to every cut in varying degrees, even the titles like “L'Etreinte du Labyrinthe” (The Embrace of the Labyrinth), “La Constance de l'Absurde” (The Constancy of the Absurd), and “La Fuite des Galaxies” (Escape of the Galaxies), just to name a few, seem to follow the pattern. Given that this is a double length album and it’s nearly all spacy instrumental wanderings, it’s going to take a fair number of plays to take firm root in the listener’s consciousness, but that’s always a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Alain Markusfeld

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