Boomkat Product Review:
A beguiling historical dispatch from post-’68 Paris, Jacques Thollot’s radical free-jazz/psychedelic rock enigma Intra Musique receives its first ever airing thanks to the wonderful Alga Marghen.
Recorded in 1969 in the Faculty of Law at what was then the Sorbonne, now the University of Paris, Intra Musique documents a remarkable collision of energies as much informed by the freedoms of American jazz and psychedelia as its European analogs, capturing a driving, anarchic chaos in the 22 minute A-side, and a more fractious diffusion of ideas, from swinging jazz to more damaged and percussive onslaughts on the B-side. Now appearing 50 years since the events of ’68, Intra Musique uncannily intersects another turbulent point in history while still sounding as vital, urgent as ever.
“There are records that stimulate curiosity to the extreme, records that make you want to dissolve yourself into the intense and beautiful surprise this music will bring. It is undeniable to the delighted ear that this exhumed document contains all the assets of the historical output, of the record that one would dream of waiting for long if one had known it existed. This rough edit, done within urgency by Jacques Thollot, testifies of a unique experience: the concert of Intra Musique at the Faculty of Law in Paris, an uncertain evening of 1969. The devastating gab of the two acolytes Jacques Thollot and Eddie Gaumont made the concert take place, on the ploughed earth of May '68, in the same faculty where so much was discussed and, thanks to the success of the previous concerts of the association of students, that allowed the risk of hiring the thundering dream team. Unique because there will never be another replica of what Jacques Thollot called "a movement", involving Michel Portal (tenor sax), Mimi Lorenzini (guitar), the rare Daniel Laloux (tambour), Jacques Thollot (drums and tapes of recorded experiments, those that would build the skeleton of the magnificent Quand Le Son Devient Aigu Jeter La Girafe À La Mer LP on Futura (1971)), and Eddie Gaumont (guitar, piano), the instigators of this journey. Captain Eddie Gaumont will capsize shortly after, sunk by a too intensely dark life; sad coda putting an end to the project.
There is also the undeniable whirling of the mentors and companions' spirits of Jacques Thollot, such as Don Cherry, Steve Lacy, Bernard Vitet, and Jean-François Jenny Clark, and the hard to describe succession of precious moments: that oblique spiritual-jazz, that other staggering ballad, or that primitive fever of essential nervous flights, that almost psychedelic proto rock; alternations of radical free music to those magnificently classic, overwhelming achievements. Jacques Thollot is not just one of the greatest abandoned jazz composers: he is the one who abandons himself to all its forms.”