...And hello to Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Ted Curson and Archie Shepp (who he would accompany over a long period). In 1969, with Yochk’o Seffer, Didier Levallet and Jean-My Truong, he formed a group which would mark history and create a sensation: Perception. If French free jazz exists, its thanks to Kessler (and company).
The following year, the pianist recorded his first album: Live at the Gill’s Club. On this one-night concert date can also be heard Barre Phillips and Steve McCall. But it was in 1971 that Kessler would record his greatest album; still in a trio setting, but this time with bassist Gus Nemeth and percussionist Stu Martin: Solaire. Five tracks of extraordinary music, moving back and forth between modal jazz and contemporary music.
Let’s begin at the end, with the title track Solaire, on which Kessler plays a melody on flute and piano which resists all onslaughts. It sends out powerful waves, Kessler’s jazz, bubbling like hot oil (Persécution, Drum), shaking modal jazz to its roots (De l’Orient à Orion) or upsetting the memory of a cantata (Bach Hcab). The piano is an instrument which can provide a tendency towards, demonstrative technique; with Kessler, it is something else: a joyful persecution!
Heavy brownboard sleeve.