Country : France Label : Genres and styles : Classical / Contemporary / Jazz / Tango Year : 2024

Louise Jallu – Jeu

· by Michel Labrecque

Is the future of bandoneon female? One thing is certain: the French Louise Jallu is taking this instrument toward new paths. With Jeu (Game), her third opus, Louise Jallu allows the bandoneon to go beyond the late Astor Piazzolla. It’s not nothing.

Invented in Germany, the bandoneon, which is similar to the accordion, is the preferred instrument of Argentine and Uruguayan tango. Astor Piazzola transformed popular tango into more erudite music, adding jazz and classical ingredients. Everyone who saw his show at the Spectrum in Montreal in 1984 still gets chills. The recording is still available on the website of the Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec.

Piazzola had many followers and disciples, including Juan-Jose Mosalini and, in Quebec, Romulo Larrea and Denis Plante. But the young Frenchwoman Louise Jallu goes further. It frees the bandoneon from tango, without denying Astor Piazzola and his descendants. His previous album, Piazzola 2021, was also dedicated to him.

Jeu opens with a jazz rhythm, then immerses us in a mixture of Robert Schumann (1810-1856) and Alban Berg (1885-1935), German classical musicians. There’s repetitive bandoneon, bluesy bandoneon with a saturated electric guitar; a cover of a song by Georges Brassens and a version of Ravel’s Boléro that I would describe as very enjoyable. There are so many layers that you discover new ones after several listens.

This could all be too eclectic and indigestible. It is not the case at all. Louise Jallu enjoys playing between these genres while asserting her uniqueness as a bandoneonist and as a musician. She is accompanied by fabulous musicians, as well as the French composer Bernard Cavanna, on arrangements. He was his teacher at the Genevilliers Conservatory, one of the high places for tango teaching in France.

Jeu is a wonderful musical playground for Louise Jallu, who is thirty years old. What game will she be playing in ten or twenty years? She said she loved “the mindset of musical transgression” while respecting tradition. It’s promising.

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