Philippe Maté / Daniel Vallancien – Maté/Vallancien LP
Although discrete, the career of saxophonist Philippe Maté includes nonetheless several indispensable albums: be it with the Acting Trio, Jean Guérin (Tacet) or Jef Gilson (Workshop), his collaborations in a big band or quartet with Lawrence "Butch" Morris, his presence in the Saxophone Quartetand also on the brilliant L'Enfant assassin des mouche by Jean-Claude Vannier.
As for the man in the background, Daniel Vallancien, a sound engineer rarely featuring on the sleeves, the collection Actuel on the BYG label owes much to him (he is at the controls behind Anthony Braxton, Don Cherry, Sonny Sharrock or Steve Lacy), the same goes for Saravah for who he notably recorded Areski, Brigitte Fontaine, Maurice Lemaître or the Cohelmec Ensemble: not bad for starters! What is more, Daniel Vallancien is one of a prestigious group of French recording engineers with open ears and often themselves musicians, even if only occasionally for some, including Bruno Menny, Daniel Deshays or Jean-Marc Foussat, who have all recorded remarkable albums as leaders. Behind this collaboration was the idea ofcreating music which was free, direct and spontaneous, while having also a minimum of advance planning.
Music, according to the brief liner notes desirous to "remove itself from long and patient laboratory experiments ". So, there can be found here none of the sophisticated tools associated withelectroacoustic research, but mainly a recording mixer console, which, in the hands of Daniel Vallancien acts directly on the original instrumental sound in real time, modifying and multiplying it while respecting the natural flow. Be it Paul Méfano, Betsy Jolas, Gérard Grisey or Jacques Lejeune, many contemporary composers working in France have, at one time or another, included the saxophone in their work. Michel Redolfi, for example, with the GRIM and then the CIRM , experimented with saxophonist André Jaume on a convincing recording (Hardscore).
Nothing, however, can compare to the singularity of the dialogue between Philippe Maté and Daniel Vallancien, which they themselves describe as being "serious, sarcastic orhumorous", with, here and there, "disturbing sounds". Words, however, even those used by the protagonists themselves, are insufficient to describe such a sonic object, difficult to identify and, it has to be said, extraordinary.