Michel Doneda recently lost one of his most faithful friends and musical companions, the double bass player Tetsu Saïtoh. Relative Pitch now offers us a superb album recorded on April 16, 2016 on Radio-France bringing together the two improvisers and the remarkable piano explorer Frédéric Blondy. Spring Road 16 is comprised of two collective improvisations under the title of No Road part 1 and No Road part 2. The name Spring Road has been part of their peregrinations as a duo since the first recording Doneda / Saitoh (Spring Road 01 / Scissors 01), because, without a doubt, it was a spring enterprise just like this new album recorded at the beginning of spring when nature and emotions are reborn, the title No Road is quite relevant, as their sound investigations bring together a multitude of paths, reflections, sounds: we are in an unknown territory even if these artists have been exploring continuously for years. There is no starting point and destination road. An intrinsic quality of their collective approach is the avoidance of the virtuosic “solo” syndrome for a complementary, extremely free, pooling of extreme-specific sounds that aggregate, combine in a wild state, float and rise in space defying gravity, notions of musical forms, a possible concept of improvisation,… This is not an album demonstrating knowledge that artists make on their instruments, sax, piano and double bass, not even a "clearing" or the slightly superficial idea of soundpainting. The three musicians seek the rarest sounds, incredible sound resources, vibrations and frequencies in the moment which prove to be the most apt to maintain their mysteries. - Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg
released July 16, 2021
Tetsu Saitoh - double bass
Frederic Blondy - grand piano
Michel Doneda - soprano and sopranino saxophones
Hyokichi Onari - cover painting
supported by 16 fans who also own “Spring Road 16”
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.