2014: Julien Palomo

2014: Julien Palomo

Julien Palomo. Photo: (c) Aurélie Gerlach

2014: Julien Palomo

Publicerad: sön, 2014-12-07 23:06

Dear Soundofmusic, I was very disappointed you didn’t offer me $100,000 for my contribution. It would have helped me record and release the 400 fantastic ideas that come to my friends’ devious minds every day. Now it’s lost. Too bad. I don’t blame you, however. If there is a salient fact that struck me about 2014, it’s that, as good as the music gets with now six generations of improvisers on this planet working together, the whole thing continues to go down the drain economically. As a consequence, my main feeling is of huge, huge gratitude towards the hundreds of people who bought Improvising Beings albums again this year. Thanks to them, I will go through the year 2015 and be able to help great artists get their music out.

2014, the richest, fullest year in my musical life. So rich it went into a flash. So beautiful and intense it carried me through three personal tragedies that should have destroyed me. Music Is The Healing Force Of The Universe, I had always believed in that, but had never had the occasion to verify that in the depths of my flesh and bones.

Difficult to sum it up. Winter 2014, struggling to promote Sonny Simmons’ incredible vision of Beyond The Planets, Free Blues meets Chamber music and Doom… Against all odds it works. It has sold well, and even better, was our first album on Rutracker. We took it as a compliment : over 7000 downloads! Winter 2014 again, Sonny still. Four months, night and day, in front of a computer, head stuck between monitors, trying to make sense of 8 years of recordings for the Leaving Knowledge, Brilliance And Wisdom box set. 8 CDs packed with the “outest” experiments we ever dealt with, ritual music for a civilization that doesn’t exist yet. 10,000 cigarettes in the making. Sonny over the phone, quietly giving mystical, telepathic indications to make it sound right.

Spring 2014, suddenly a minibus is jolting down my street from the far-off land of Austria. Sitting front, Linda Sharrock in her wheelchair, Mario Rechtern, and the cat. Straight to our little jazz joint in the mixed area of Paris, for a highly charged gig with the usual suspects, Oki-San and Makoto San, Yoram, Eric Zinman. And the next day in the studio. While we are sitting behind the desk peering at the mayhem for an hour, the recording engineer has to revise all his judgements about music. He sees the light. His puzzled expression when he asks in utter unbelief, “How do they do that?”. And it’s all gone suddenly, the minibus sprrrt sprrrt sprrrt down the street again, Linda has a mysterious glowing smile on her face, we wave goodbye and we cry. Wonder if we’ll meet again in this life.

Plane. Off to Tokyo and Shikoku, Japan. Hugues and Morishige’s cello duet album is a surprise smash hit (really!), and the release party is at Kid Ailack, the very place where Takayanagi would hold his monthly series. I feel so humbled. Almost like an impostor. Snapshots: raiding DiskUnion, hoping to beat the Real MatsGus at his own game (I lost, of course). The magnificent Kura-No-Ne Creative Space, discussing sea life with Akira Sakata before he launches into a furious destruction/reconstruction of “Round Midnight” with Sabu Toyozumi. #2 in my list of loudest gigs ever. Two gentle elderly persons have brought the photo of their defunct son to the gig. Free Jazz doesn’t give a shit about our physical vehicle, it will affect us beyond what we experience in the here and now, I know that for sure. So does Sonny, so does Sabu, so does all of them who raised me to Awareness.

Summer 2014. Recording Tusques with percussionists Mirtha Pozzi and Pablo Cueco. Yessir, half the rhythm section of L’Intercommunal, did I ever mention I was a lucky mofo. And a bit later reuniting François and Eric to perform piano duets. One afternoon we stumbled onto this private art gallery, and downstairs, very casually, two pianos were sitting there, 1878 and 1920 works of art in their own right. Where you can’t even have a synth anymore in most clubs… And the year is sliding to Fall and again it’s promo time, with Linda’s album which receives a warm and understanding reception, and Makoto-San and Alan Silva and Lucien’s Nettles, and as of yet I don’t get why it goes under radar because everybody’s been asking me for Alan on double bass for ages, and now they have it and don’t listen. So allright, I warned you, more Alan synths are on their way to you, like it or not. One day you will all acknowledge the depth of his innovations.

Winter 2014. Eight fully recorded albums on the desk waiting for release. Hands freezing at the mixing desk. Will we ever make it to Xmas 2015???

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