This next instalment from Melbourne’s Left Ear Records is an album created to accompany contemporary jazz-dance classes – Percussions Pour La Danse – and was a 1980s collaboration between contemporary-dance instructor Tony Kennybrew and Jean-Pierre Boistel.
Tony – a Washington native who had studied, taught and danced professionally since the age of 12 – found himself in France in the late 1980’s, where he linked up with like-minded musician Jean-Pierre. The Frenchman had recently returned from a six month trip to West Africa.
According to Left Ear: “Tony used the music when teaching contemporary jazz-dance classes and to accompany live performance, allowing students to dance slowly, rapidly and change speeds without changing the tempo. In order to reach the spatial possibilities he was striving for, Jean-Pierre would also use computer assisted programming to sample and re-play his own instrumentation. This allowed him to lay down the tempo of the track and then play live over the top, which in turn gave him the freedom to add the desired instruments and effects to each song.”
Jean-Pierre’s use of the Kalimba, Talking Drum and Sanza gives the album a distinctly African sound, while contemporary jazz-dance time signatures adds a unique perspective to these traditional instrumentations.
It’s another wonderous and priceless treasure brought to us by Left Ear Records. Click here to visit the label’s website and hear their past reissues.