Various Artists

Spirit of France

Spiritmuse • 2022

The outsiders in the French jazz scene in the 1970s didn’t have it easy. They had to move out of the capital and into caves to be able to point their baroque woodwind instruments into the wind. No wonder the output sounded more like a medieval market on Nasivin than a smoky jazz cellar on the Champs-Élysées. The people at Spiritmuse Records, who know a thing or two about such nasal things, have re-enacted the Allegory of the Cave with torches for »Spirit of France« – and at the same time have tossed twelve pieces against the wall by artists who get fewer hits on Google than a search for Serge Gainsbourg’s left toenail. Sometimes, as with Rémy Couvez, you wish for a crunchy baguette to go with the honey mead hallelujah. At other times, as with the sound of Noco Music, you light a Philip Glass memorial fire. The horns run hot for Bujumbura Lyon and the Baschet brothers charge crystals. The fact that most of the underground musicians squeeze musical cultures from parts of Africa and the Middle East between France’s frog legs fits the »obscure experience«. Why this sounds like mescaline in the Middle Ages, I have no idea! Nevertheless, old hippies would still buy this record!