Louis Sclavis is the towering figure of jazz and improvised music in France today. His highly original compositions - often incorporating elements of folklore and world music - and his superb improvisational skills have meanwhile been acclaimed worldwide. His frequent concerts at the major festivals around the world further spread the information on this artist.
10 years ago guitarist / composer Bernard Struber of Strasbourg set up a jazz department at the Strasbourg Conservatory which developed into ORJA (Regional Jazz Orchestra of Alsace) and was later renamed the Jazztet. The group invited international soloists for different projects and made first contact with Sclavis in 1996. This developed into frequent concertizing and finally into a recording project featuring Louis Sclavis all the way: He is the main soloist interpreting his own compositions. The music ranges from quiet, contemplative bass clarinet pieces to rousing, intense ensemble work. Struber's careful arrangements of Louis Sclavis' compositions provide a great springboard for the powerful soloist.
Louis Sclavis was featured before on ENJA, on the highly acclaimed Double Trio. JazzTimes wrote: "The line between post-freedom jazz and classical music gets blurrier all the time; this extraordinary album erases it entirely." While Double Trio was interlocking modern classical composition and jazz improvisation, Le Phare grows more out of the jazz tradition and is further proof of the true emancipation of European musicians - equally aware of their own tradition yet utterly skilled in the improvisational techniques of jazz.