Album reviews

Sophia Domancich – ‘le grand jour’

Sophia Domancich – le grand jour
(Peewee!, PW100. Album review by Mike Collins)

French pianist Sophia Domancich (b.1957) has pursued an open-minded and exploratory path throughout her career with collaborations ranging from the late Elton Dean, to William Parker and Hamid Drake, alongside her own projects. le grand jour is a solo project on piano and Fender Rhodes, a release which was part of the relaunch the French label Peewee! in 2021, the label having being dormant for twenty years. It’s a thoughtful, atmospheric gem; Domancich in dialogue with herself.

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There are a dozen short pieces, the longest five or six minutes many shorter. An idea is advanced, repeated turned around, left to fade and throb in enveloping stillness. In Encore Une Fois the idea is an almost-minor-bluesy phrase, Un Flamand Rose Sur Le Piano a flurry of notes, eventually evolving into long twisting lines as a dark momentum emerges. On Les Arbres Somnambules mesmeric patterns sustain throughout whilst angular arpeggios develop in the lower registers.

Piano and Rhodes sounds appear often to be answering and commenting on each other. Rhodes interrupts abstract, darting piano musing in Le Grand Jour with pulsing, slow moving chords and bass notes. On Idée Fixe , piano echoes and twists spooky Rhodes phrases, until they gradually merge and fade away. Bursts of shapely melodic lines make an appearance; Trébuchante, developing from hanging, individual notes, becomes a twisting, flow of ideas evoking a hint French Impressionism. Berceuse Pour Noah has a smear of gospel in hymn like cadences.

There are no pyrotechnics in this set; patient, meditative improvisations allow musical colours and textures to glow. It’s a deeply pleasurable and satisfying sound world in which to be immersed.

Mike Collins is a pianist and writer based in Bath, who runs the jazzyblogman site
Twitter: @jazzyblogman

LINK: le grand jour on Bandcamp

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