Thursday (October) 26th, (2011) the Anreiterkeller in Bressanone, headquarters of Groupe Dekadenz, staged what could be classed from many points of view as a memorable concert, attended by a select and privileged audience. The little stage in the cellar on St Angelo Street hosted the 12 musicians of the Collective LeBocal, a French Big-Band which is without a doubt among the most interesting on the European "Jazz and Other" scene. The jazzistic propositions of Dekadenz, selected since time immemorial by Norbert Dalsass, often revealing true pearls from the vast array of international music available. LeBocal in particular is a group which from its very beginnings proposes a progressive approach not just to the Big-Band repertoire but also in the way inhabiting the music and the stage. It is in this, rather infrequent manner, that these French musicians came to the conclusion, similar to an approach already taken during the first phases of their activity, that they should confront themselves with one of the most difficult and fascinating repertoires, one which nowadays represents a classic of experimentation and creativity. We are speaking of course about the compositions of Frank Zappa, the American musician who left us 18 years ago, who was a figurehead in music, iconoclastic not only in the music but also in his way of being a musician.
The interesting thing about LeBocal's music is that right from the beginning of the performance, they make it understood that for them the meeting with Zappa's music was an obligatory step and a challenge to truly embrace it. The approach to the 6 compositions of the Baltimore musician, chosen for Dekadenz was totally convincing by its authenticity and justly free, as the composer would have naturally hoped it to be. So The Idiot Bastard Son, Cosmik Debris, King Kong, Mr. Green Genes, Zoot Allures et The Duke of the Prunes were a delight to the audience and an ideal introduction to a second half dedicated to the group's own original, interesting and varied compositions.
The attitude of the musicians on stage did the rest, coupled with the honourable approach demonstrated by the soloists during the songs. We can clearly state: during the solos, except for the justifiably sensational guitarist, Cyril Moulas, not one technical demo or lick was to be heard. Each note being carefully selected and served to an amazed audience with a sincerity which was out of the ordinary. In summary: we truly hope that the Collective LeBocal will have the opportunity to come back our way to share their way of creating music with us, in such a stunningly mature manner. No mean feat these days. That's saying a lot, by far.
October 2011 - Luca Sticcotti.