In judging the quality of a musical performance we may regard honesty as an alternative model to the poles of ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Does a given performance honestly communicate the thoughts and feelings of the musician? Does it “fight the average, average”, as electric guitarist, Marc Ducret had us reflect? The answer on this occasion is most resoundingly affirmative.
Coursing through the veins of Ducret’s trio are tensions that propel an elevation above the “average” he so abhors. If we consider that the genesis of a musical idea is a wholly conceptual entity then bringing that concept into actuality by means of an instrument entails that only one expression of that original conception can take place at any one time. If that original concept inspires multiple mental phenomena then only one can be actualised. The others are frustrated at that moment in time from actualisation. Marc Ducret uses this frustration to energise his music with a brutal intellectual tension. Equally, a severe rhythmic tension is conjured by a paradoxical technique that aims towards a non-rhythmic execution while maintaining a strong rhythmic backbone i.e. to play time and not play time. These tensions subsume the listener in an audio-phenomenal ecstasy.
Bassist, Bruno Chevillon matched Ducret’s idiosyncratic vernacular with highly eloquent blues based phrases that suggested a synthesis of Daryl Jones, Eddie Gomez and Miroslav Vitous. Ducret absorbed these forms and subjected them to vicious distortions and dreamy chord sustains that warped the harmonic swell created. Chevillon’s expansive runs erupted into abrasive chordal sequences that spurred Ducret into post-apocalyptic melodic lines. Contrapuntal percussive possibilities were exploited by drummer, Eric Echampard. His sharp ornamental flourishes and dominant backbeat provided a powerful rhythmic platform for Ducret to challenge the audience by continually alternating between rhythm and lead phrasing.
The euphoria generated by this performance provided emotional confirmation of the honesty of this music. It manifestly fights the average, average.