Drew Gress - Bass
Jochen Rueckert - Drums
Misja FitzGerald Michel - Guitars (electric & acoustic 6&12 strings)
Ravi Coltrane - Tenor saxophone on 1 and 9
Recorded by Bobo Fini at Context studio in New York, 24th and 25th February 2005
and solo tracks by Franck Redlich (Flam) at l'Atelier on 7th May 2005
Mixed by Franck Redlich (Flam) at L'Atelier on 22nd, 23rd April, 7th May 2005
Mastered by Raphaël Jonin at Dyam, on 23rd May 2005
Produced by Misja FitzGerald Michel
Liner notes by Paul Benkimoun
Art work cover by Jerome Witz
Thanks to Ravi, Drew, Jochen for the music
Thanks to Daniel, Laurent, Damien, Franck, Lionel, Raphaël, Jerome, Patrice, Paul B., Christian, Kathleen, Thorsten, Otis, Brindha, Moira, Dany and to all the people who support the music.
Life is made of encounters and choices. As a jazz record for a label not specifically dedicated to jazz music, Encounter is just that, the result of an encounter (between the label Nø Førmat! and Misja FitzGerald Michel), and a common choice : no frontiers, but convictions; a mutual desire for music to be taken for what it is, rather than for its virtuous respect of the codes.
With guitarist Jim Hall, a master as discreet as he is unanimously respected, the musical culture of Misja FitzGerald Michel goes beyond the field of jazz and musical affiliation; it extends to Bach and his Chaconne for solo violin–hence, no doubt, a taste for themes played solo, and also to Jimi Hendrix. As a jazz guitarist, he is above all a musician at liberty. Misja FitzGerald Michel has been tracing this furrow with constancy over several years, and with several records. Sure of his heading, he has continued to navigate by adapting to the elements.
There, the calm of a ballad played with a firm, clear sound (John Coltrane’s Central Park West, or his own Mirage). Here, the acute angles of Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman, which he delivers like an eau-forte, full of energy and acidity. Elsewhere, breaking freely away to slice through the waves of Wayne Shorter’s Limbo, a composition marrying complexity and nature, or alone at the helm, facing the broken seas of John Coltrane’s Countdown.
Misja FitzGerald Michel takes risks like others assume responsibility. Whether playing electric or acoustic guitar, or a twelve-string, but also in formats ranging from solo to quartet via the trio, his choices breathe maturity and energy, a capacity to listen and a gift for entente. Drew Gress, one of the best bassists on the current jazz scene, provides solidity, density and intensity. And listening to the interaction of drummer Jochen Rueckert with the guitarist, even if he is used to playing with Drew Gress, who would guess that this was the first time he’d played with Misja FitzGerald Michel? As for their guest, Ravi Coltrane, his integration takes place with steadfast elegance, bringing a new dimension to the cohesiveness of the trio on the two pieces where he appears.
Seeking, finding... Whether alone or numerous, that’s always what improvisation is about.