Exposé Online banner

Quartet Noir — Lugano
(Victo VICTO CD 096, 2005, CD)

by Mac Beaulieu, Published 2006-05-01

Lugano Cover art

Saxophonist Urs Leimgruber has an extensive recorded history stretching back to his involvement in the free jazz group Om in 1974. Quartet Noir is his collaboration with past co-conspirators pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Joëlle Léandre, and percussionist Fritz Hauser, all of whom have produced vast bodies of work that are impressive at the very least due to their sheer sizes. Lugano is entirely improvised and deliberately arhythmic. It’s predominantly an intellectual affair, where Art Lange’s liner notes can find suggestions of cubism and “elusive perspectives [that] assure momentum without coercion,” and where avant cognoscenti can seemingly find profound human experience in a saxophone squeak. “Lugano Part III”’s brief comparative structure and rhythmic drumming is veritable ear candy to me after the first 37 minutes of the disc, which is probably indicative of some fragmentary cortical evolution that took place when my mammalian ancestors evolved from the stem reptile. After all, what reasonable objection can I have against music that “offers a parallel reality to the discerning reality of vision”? I feel like Archie Bunker listening to this music and reading the liner notes. Seriously, I have no objections to the study and enjoyment of this type of musical art form, but it’s entirely beyond my appreciation.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Quartet Noir

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Canned Heat / John Lee Hooker - Hooker 'n' Heat, Historical Figures, Ancient Heads, & The New Age – If you don't dig the blues and you don't boogie, skip this review. Canned Heat's stock in trade was merging classic blues with rock, and in the late 60s nobody did it better, due in part...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues