Michel Portal: The Sandpiper


The Sandpiper


Michel Portal (bass clarinet)


Birdwatcher (Emarcy 984 556-3)

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Michel Portal (bass clarinet), Tony Malaby (tenor sax), Airto Moreira (percussion),

Tony Hymas (keyboard and piano), François Moutin (acoustic bass), Erik Fratzke (bass guitar), J.T. Bates (drums)


Recorded: Minneapolis, 2006


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

French reeds wizard Michel Portal is an endless searcher and traveler. He is a respected clarinetist in the classical and contemporary music field, has been a session musician, a free jazz musician, a film music composer… and has always been eager to meet and exchange with U.S. musicians. Here he invites Tony Malaby on one of his typical compositions: a very simple, haunting, cyclic melodic pattern on which Portal’s bass clarinet solo followed by Malaby’s improvisation on the tenor sax build up a tension that climaxes with the dialogue of the two horns. This tune has some of the magic and beauty of Miles Davis's early-'70s pieces.

Reviewer: Thierry Quénum

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