The Constellation label, bastion of post-rock with expansive guitars and tense repetitions, with angular and dark folk and oblique approaches to chamber music, seems to have found a new vein for its catalogue in jazz. A month after the release of the audacious “New History Warfare Vol.2: Judges”, the second album of sax player Colin Stetson, the Canadian label looks at the most spiritual branch of the Afro-American tradition coming from the hands of Matana Roberts, an alt sax player who likes to move through the outskirts that separate cosmic jazz, free improv and modern classical composition tending towards graphical notation, conceptual support and the interpretation of hazard as a composition element.
A central part of young Matana’s work is her project COIN COIN, a series of works positioned around the experience of “Africanism” on American soil, in which music is combined with spoken word (often focussed on historical tales) and performance theatre. Seduced by her idea, the people of Constellation invited Roberts to get together her ensemble (more than a dozen musicians from the Montreal scene) at the installations of the Hotel2Tango on a day in July 2010. There, in the presence of 30 lucky people, Matana Roberts and her musicians worked on a set during the day, which they played hours later. Radwan Moumneh recorded everything. That day’s performance, conveniently edited to 60 minutes, constitutes “COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens de couleur libres”, an album which Constellation will release on 10th May as a download, on CD and double 10”. The first batch of vinyls will feature a bonus CD copy and a sheet with one of Matana’s graphic scores for Coin Coin.