Jac Berrocal – MDLV
release date : march 31 2014
label : sub rosa

A real event: Jac Berrocal is back with its special atmosphere and feeling. Lot of guests too. Jacques “Jac” Berrocal (born 22 October 1946, Saint-Jean d’Angély) is a French trumpeter, singer and composer. He has been active since the 1970s in the independent and avant-garde music scene (he recorded/played with Steven Stapleton/Nurse With Wound and collaborated with Sunny Murray, Pascal Comelade, MKB (F. J. Ossang), James Chance, Alan Shorter, Bernard Vitet, Lol Coxhill, Michel Portal, Lizzy Mercier Descloux). He has released a few important albums, mainly on his own label d’Avantage. He also founded and performed in the group Catalogue. Berrocal has appeared too in several films. This album contains contributions by Ron Anderson (The Molecules), Keith Abrams, Jack Belsen (Messageros Killers Boys), Jean Pierre Arnoux, Marie Moor, Massayoshi Urabe, Bruno Laurent, Claude Parle, Jacques Doyen, Laurent Chambert, Jean François Pauvros, Gilbert Artman, Michel Glasko… and many more. David Fenech and Vincent Epplay join Jac Berrocal on the last bonus track (CD version only), inspired by “After The Rain” by John Coltrane.

Tracklisting :
01. Aristocrates
02. Zwischen Shaan und Bendern
03. Do You Want a Dance
04. Palmyre
05. Lonely Woman
06. I Remember
07. Plaisir d’amour
08. Prière
09. MDLV
10. Aether
11. The Eternal
12. Metallic Bay
13. Lietuva Hotel
14. Ministres en conseil
15. Kinderlieder
16. Ultim Arlene
17. La Ralentie

Bonus Tracks (CD Only) :
18. Signe particulier
19. After The Rain

Bonus Track (LP Only)
18. Sacré

01 – Aristocrates
Drums – Keith Abrams
Electronics – Ron Anderson
Recorded By – Ross Bonadonna
Voice – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal

02 -Zwischen Shaan Und Bendern
Mixed By – Jack Belsen
Recorded By – Jac Berrocal
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal

03 – Do You Want A Dance
Electronic Drums – Jean-Pierre Arnoux
Guitar – Jack Belsen
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Voice – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal, Jack Belsen, Jean-Pierre Arnoux

04 – Palmyre
Recorded By – Guy Girard
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal

05 – Lonely Woman
Accordion – Claude Parle
Bells – Jean-Marc Foussat
Double Bass – Bruno Laurent, Rosine Feferman
Drums – Jacques Thollot
Recorded By – Jean-Marc Foussat
Synthesizer – Wilfried Wendling
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Ornette Coleman

06 – I Remember
Drums – Christophe Sorro
Guitar – Yves Botz
Recorded By – Jean-Marc Foussat
Tenor Saxophone – Urabe Masayoshi
Voice – Marie Möör, Yves Botz
Written By – Alan Vega, Martin Rev

07 – Plaisir D’Amour
Keyboards – Jac Berrocal
Mandolin – Jac Berrocal
Music By – Jean-Paul-Egide Martini
Recorded By – Marie Möör
Text By – Jean Pierre Claris De Florian
Voice – Marie Möör

08 – Prière
Adapted By – Jean Vasca
Bass – Jesse Krakow
Drums – Keith Abrams
Electric Guitar – Ron Anderson
Music By – Jac Berrocal
Recorded By – Ross Bonadonna
Text By – Antonin Artaud
Voice – Jac Berrocal

09 – MDLV
Mixed By – Jean-Marc Foussat
Recorded By – Wolfram Haider
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Voice – Bagheera Poulin, F.J. Ossang, Florence Delay, Francine Flandrin, Marie France
Written By – Jac Berrocal

10 – Aether
Computer – Laurent Chambert
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Voice – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal, Laurent Chambert

11 – The Eternal
Accordion – Michel Glasko
Double Bass – Bruno Laurent
Percussion – Roland Bourbon
Recorded By – Daniel Deshays, David Segalen
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Bernard Sumner, Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris

12 – Metallic Bay
Bass – Ron Anderson
Drums – Michael Evans
Guitar – Jason Willett
Organ – James Chance
Recorded By – Jason Willett
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal, James Chance, Ron Anderson

13 – Lietuva Hotel
Recorded By – Vina Platar Lynas
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal

14 – Ministres En Conseil
Mixed By – Nick Rogers
Percussion – Jac Berrocal
Recorded By – Daniel Deshays
Synthesizer – Jac Berrocal
Trombone – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Jac Berrocal

15 – Kinderlieder
Accordion – Michel Glasko
Double Bass – Bruno Laurent
Drums – Roland Bourbon
Synthesizer – Jean-Marc Foussat
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Walter Gieseking

16 – Ultim Arlene
Bass – Jesse Krakow
Drums – Keith Abrams
Electronics – Ron Anderson
Guitar – Ron Anderson
Recorded By – Ross Bonadonna
Text By – Angeline Neveu
Voice – Angeline Neveu, Jac Berrocal
Written By – Gilbert Artman, Jac Berrocal, Jean-François Pauvros

17 – La Ralentie
Recorded By – Guy Girard
Voice – Jac Berrocal
Written By – Henri Michaux

18 – Signe Particulier
Bass – Jean-François Pauvros
Drums – Jean-Pierre Arnoux
Guitar – Jean-François Pauvros
Recorded By – Alain Gandolfi
Voice – Jac Berrocal, Michel Potage
Written By – Jac Berrocal

19 – After The Rain
Guitar – David Fenech
Recorded By – David Fenech
Synthesizer – Vincent Epplay
Trumpet – Jac Berrocal
Written By – John Coltrane

Blimey this is a pretty out-there platter.

This is apparently Berrocal’s first release for 20 years. But wait a sec…it seems these pieces were recorded at different times over the last 30+ years but mostly in the last two decades. Strange how it should work so well as a reasonably coherent listen then? Now…I must state it’s not all just trumpets abound before the more brass-phobic amongst you spin out and do a massive merde of defiance in yr panties. The second piece on here is a smoky, brooding lolloping thing that kinda recalls a less frantic Red Snapper with a little New York, No Wave loft attitude. The trumpet here is merely a cherry-esque flourish on top of the moody groove.

Subsequently we get a bizarro cover of Ornette Coleman’s ‘Lonely Woman’ which is quite superb and densely packed with such French staples as accordion and frantic spy thriller free-jazz drums….mangled church bells y’ know. Crazy our cross-channel friends they are. So what could be better to follow a Coleman tune than a…cover of a Suicide number?! But it only lasts 43 seconds. So not really one to delight exotica fanboys on the hipster’s dancefloor…

‘Priere’ towards the end of S1 is quite an intense growling, smouldering avant-rock piece which features our Jac aggressively spitting lines in a gravelly timbre. It’s quite a remarkable sonic tour-de-force that really adds to the arresting quality of the album. I love the closer of that side even more – ‘Aether’ – a shimmering trippy piece of minimalism with distant snare rolls, gibbering ad-libbed voices, cheeky trumpet squawks and a fabulous dream-like demeanour that reminds me a little of Faust’s more tender moments.

The other face opens up with a Joy Division cover, not that you’d recognise ‘The Eternal’ much. Evidence of his sympathies with the more unhinged elements of the NY scene of the golden era is the track ‘Metallic Bay’ which blends free-jazz chaos with nasty guitar shredding and filthy deviant organ. Yes, James Chance is involved here. Following that barminess we get the beautiful symphonic minimalist composition ‘Ministries in Conseil’. This along with ‘Aether’ are my absolute high points over the course of my most curious disc this early May week.

‘MDLV’ fades out with a raucous punky rock piece, a brief snippet of spoken word and in ‘Sacre’ a vintage piece of romantic, poetic wistfulness carried by a distant meandering trumpet and the sound of a steel bucket being struck. Very sensual and unusual. I will definitely check out more JB when I get a second. Some cracking collaborative work showcasing a fevered talent here….

Brian, Norman Records ( link )

Oui, c’est vraiment un nouveau disque de Jac Berrocal, son premier en vingt ans. Et Berrocal l’inclassable le demeure avec ce pot-pourri de 19 morceaux (sur le CD; 18 sur la version vinyle, avec quelques différences entre les deux) enregistrés entre 1979 et 2012. La diversité du matériel a de quoi faire perdre la tête: lectures de Michaux et d’Artaud, reprises de jazz (“Lonely Woman”, “After the Rain”), collages sonores, pièces éthérées multipistées (“Aether” a une forte connotation Robert Wyatt), trucs qui dansent aussi, et une poignée de chansons avant-punk, la plupart issues d’un concert de 2006 avec le groupe PAK de Ron Anderson. Jac chante, hurle, narre et joue de la trompette. On ressort de ce disque étourdi et un peu perdu – que vient-il de se passer, au juste? Une explosion débridée de créativité tous azimuts. Et l’ensemble se tient plutôt bien. [Ci-dessous: Écoutez trois extraits de l’album sur cette page.]
Yes, this is truly a new album by Jac Berrocal, his first solo outing in 20 years. And he remains as unclassifiable as ever with this mixed bag of 19 tracks (on the CD; 18 on the LP, with a few differences between the two) recorded between 1979 and 2012. The diversity herein will make your head spin: readings from Michaux and Artaud, jazz covers (“Lonely Woman,” “After the Rain”), sound collages, ethereal multitracked numbers (“Aether” is eerily Robert Wyatt-like), bouncy stuff too, and a handful of avant-punk songs taken from a 2006 concert with Ron Anderson’s trio PAK. Jac sings, shouts, tells, and plays trumpet. I got out of this album dizzy and a bit lost – what just happened, actually? An unrestrained explosion of creativity on all fronts, that’s what. And it kinda holds up well after a fashion.

Francois Couture, Monsieur Delire ( link )

L’iconoclaste Jac Berrocal frappe à nouveau avec un album de 19 chansons courtes puisqu’en tout il n’ya que 49 minutes de musique sur ce disque. Mais quelle qualité ! Enregistré un peu partout dans le monde( en Syrie, dans des bars de Paris, à Brooklyn, Baltimore, Londres, en Autriche…) Berrocal nous invite à la danse, nous revisite “Lonely Woman” (quasi méconnaissable, si ce n’est sur la fin) ou “After the rain” de Coltrane, s’amuse avec les mots, les voix, les collages, fait resurgir “Frère Jacques” de notre mémoire d’enfant, rend hommage à d’autres frères lointains qui souffrent ou ne souffriront plus parce que partis dans un monde sans doute meilleur, ressort d’outre-tombe un texte célèbre de Jean Pierre Claris de Florian pour honorer le plaisir de l’amour et ses conséquences désastreuses lorsqu’il disparait, et cela en trente secondes, avant de s’inspirer pour une prière d’un Antonin Artaud qu’on imagine, tapi dans l’ombre, intersidéral et morbide. Enregistré donc un peu partout, et à des dates différentes. Mais ce recueil n’est en aucun cas disparate, dispersé ou hétéroclite. Comme d’habitude, Jac Berrocal sait comment relier ces moments de vie, ces bouts de chairs sanguinolentes car écorchées, ces poèmes débridés, cette énumération d’œuvres passées qui, au final, constituent un ensemble cohérent et sincère, un témoignage essentiel d’un homme passionnant autant qu’intègre plongé dans un univers délirant.

Philippe Renaud – Improjazz ( link )