Michel El Malem: On the road to the 2021 awards
Like “six pieces of a mirror that never breaks”, saxophonist Michel El Malem delivers six splendid new pieces, thanks to a lasting collaboration with his friend the pianist Marc Copland, recognisable by his gentle touch and his colourist approach.
BY ALICE LECLERQ
A slice of life has passed for Michel since 2011 and the French record prize of the jazz academy came to distinguish his album Reflets. He welded a quartet with a line-up renewed in 2018 with Luc Isenmann on drums, Stéphane Kerecki on double bass and Romain Pilon on guitar. Michel composes Dedications “starting from an emotional state”, pushing the emotion when he thinks of the loved ones to whom he dedicates his pieces. notably his missing mother.
The recording, which takes place in the fall of 2019 at the La Buissonne studio, allows the tenor and soprano to join the catalogue of the American label Inner Circle Music and ensures its distribution in the United States.
In March 2020, his participation with Marc Copland at the Biennale du Centre des Bords de Marne is cancelled a few hours before the performance due to government health announcements. Everything was then put on stand-by, except for a few private lessons. “I live in the countryside, I work like crazy on music, but – despite the Spedidam, Sacem, Adami aid allocated after the first confinement – the situation is violent for all of us. »
For the release of his 2021 album, Michel is thinking of two formulas, one with Marc Copland when he comes to Europe, the other without piano or with invited French pianists, starting with Jean-Marie Machado.
While waiting for the concerts, the impression of serenity and anchoring provided by the album Dedications, its remarkable dynamics and clarity, make listening to it greatly beneficial.
Source: JAZZ NEWS / FEBRUARY-MARCH 2021