reviews

Hubbub

Frédéric Blondy (piano), Bertrand Denzler (tenor saxophone), Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto saxophone), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (guitar), Edward Perraud (drums, percussion)

Ken Waxman, www.onefinalnote.com, 2005
HUBBUB
Hoib
Charles/Denzler/Mariage/Werchowski
Metz
Part of the wave of minimalistic improvisers who somehow manage to appropriate the mechanics of electronic timbres for acoustic instruments, these two French groups still affirm that small intervals, diminutive resonance, and near-static harmony can provide memorable music if you ignore the so-called proper way that instruments should sound.
Hubbub tries to transcend the tone question from the beginning. Each of its CDs lists only the players’ names, not the instruments they play. For the record the band is made up of Jean-Luc Guionnet on soprano and alto saxophones, Bertrand Denzler on tenor saxophone, Frédéric Blondy on piano, guitarist Jean-Sébastian Mariage, and drummer Edward Perraud.
All have extensive experience on the somewhat insular French scene. Guionnet and Perraud are part of the appropriately named Return of the New Thing band. The altoist has also duetted with guitarist Olivier Benoît, while Blondy has recorded with master percussionist Lê Quan Ninh. Denzler, who is actually Swiss, has played with people as different as fellow countryman Hans Koch and original New Thing drummer Sunny Murray.
Denzler and Mariage are also featured on Metz (Creative Sources). So are Xavier Charles—on clarinet here, but who is often involved in dedicated electronica, playing vibrating surfaces, turntables and minidiscs—and violinist Mathieu Werchowski, whose experience encompasses electronica with tape manipulators Lionel Marchetti and Jérôme Noetinger and a pure acoustic trio with guitarist John Russell and accordionist Ute Völket.
Perhaps because of this background, electroacoustic tendencies migrate onto the CD’s slightly more than half-hour single track. With concentration the sounds can be mesmerizing. At the same time the piece has enough structure to be a sonata or other formal composition. Initially it builds up from intermittent reed buzzes and metallic baps that are mixed with bell-ringing guitar tones and violin textures. Variations arise following an extended period of aviary trills from Denzler, chalumeau-register buzzes from Charles, plus the scrapes of what could be an e-bow moving across fiddle strings. Mariage then begins tapping on his guitar strings with his palms and snapping them as well—gestures that bring out reedy snorts and flutter-tonguing from the woodwinds. As the theme is reshaped, compressed, organ-like timbres appear from the violinist, leading to an exchange of sul ponticello lines on his part and dark, fluttering breaths from the reedmen.
Midway through, silence is nudged with the faint intimation of reverb extended by abrasive ratcheting from the top portion of the guitar’s neck, until split-tone reed variations provide new variations on the theme with hummingbird-like warbling. Finally the piece reaches a climax of amp-related wheezy crackles, electronic hiss, intermittent string battering, and chromatic runs. As this happens, the clarinetist adds shrill reed vibrations and the tenor man glottal stops and shredded cries. Heightened sounds include thumping guitar picking and wiggling fiddle lines. A postlude of shattering reed cries mixed with accordion-like squeezes from the strings leads to a 20-second coda of barely heard near-silence.
Silence plays a part in Hubbub’s Hoib (Matchless) as well, with many of the most hypnotic timbres seemingly taking place just below the threshold of comfortable listening. Divided among two mid-length tracks, the band members assert themselves most individually on “Hoib 2”, which itself begins with almost complete silence for 60 seconds.
Eventually Perraud comes up with an odd drum sound—not a beat mind you—and Blondy keystrokes that could come from a toy piano. Soon you realize that the segmented whap that almost resembles a vibraharp’s touch is coming from mallets hitting piano keys, while the spreading harp-like glisses are from the guitar.
With nothing moving very loudly or quickly, subtle tongue-slaps and shrill colored air expiration from Guionnet and Denzler are even more obvious. Flirting with microtonalism, the two barely avoid stasis. Alternating obtuse penny-whistle timbres and silence, it’s fairly obvious that this sax meeting has very little to do with a Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane reed battle or anything else overtly jazzy. Respiration does appear, but these abrasive split tones create unknown tonal properties, not differentiated notes. Eventually, a backdrop is created out of scraped chromatic colors from the guitar and internal dampening of the piano keys. Hooting, sibilant, almost harmonica-reedy tones from the saxes hang suspended in the air until even the overtones dissolve into silence.
Similar undifferentiated and unknown oscillations are on the first, longer track, along with pressure on cymbal and snare tops from the percussionist, scrapes along the underside and front of the guitar by the plectrumist, and a build up of tongue-slaps, flattement, and colored air from the reedists. Still, with the track angled more towards undulation than movement, clanging ring modulator-like waveforms seem to enter the sound picture as well.
Eventually the drummer builds up his arrangement from subtle touches and split-second cymbal spanks to somehow meld sour snare rattles with sine wave-like piercing cries from the reeds. Eventually, chiming, elongated tongue-stops and split tones are bolstered from near-noiselessness with finger and palm percussion and internal piano string rumbles. Harsh sputters from one sax, shrill, flutter-tongue squeaks from the other, a continual rhapsody of saturated piano tones, and pinpointed cymbal pings bring the piece to a climax, while the finale is a flawlessly positioned solo drum beat.
Not jazz or perhaps even improv as we know it, Hoib and Metz deserve concentrated examination by those open to tracing new currents in free playing.

Rui Eduardo Paes, http://rep.no.sapo.pt, 2005
Hubbub: “Hoib” (Matchless Recordings)
Enganam-se quantos acharem que os nomes Hubbub e Hoib não passam de invenções fonéticas do grupo que o pianista francês Frédéric Blondy formou com um punhado de improvisadores da nova geração: “hub” é a designação que na Índia se dá a um jogo muito popular e foi registado pela primeira vez pelos linguistas no século XVII, enquanto “hoib” era um grito de chamamento de escoceses e galeses em tempos remotos. A alusão não vem ao acaso, pois estes músicos (Bertrand Denzier, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Jean-Sebastian Mariage, Edward Perraud) desejam que a improvisação surja tão natural quanto a fala e tão social quanto a capacidade humana de comunicar com os outros. O diminuto nível sonoro desta proposta e os seus frequentes espaços de silêncio não são obstáculos a essa comunicabilidade, mas a evidência de que a música é como uma conversa amena e intimista, feita ora de reacções e oportunidades, ora de meditações interiores. Um belíssimo disco que refuta o bruá do mundo em que vivemos, ainda que sem qualquer intenção de apaziguamento “new age”. Esta é uma arte feita de ameaças e inquietações, contidas é certo, mas claramente perceptíveis. Contra o excesso de expressão e emotividade da música improvisada “mainstream”, o que faz não é propriamente uma racionalização da sensibilidade ou dos sentimentos, mas a recusa do primado romântico que ainda rege a criação. E se este “não” tem tudo de uma atitude intelectual, convém não esquecermos que também o expressionismo é uma fórmula programática. Não se trata, sequer, de limitar a liberdade expressiva, mas de compreender que até um rio em permanente fluxo de águas tem as suas margens.

www.ear-rational.com, 2005
Hubbub "Hoib"
Third CD from this French improvisational group, featuring: Frederic Blondy, Bertrand Denzier, Jean Luc Guionnet, Jean-Sebastien Mariage, Edward Perraud. 2nd release on Matchless, they also have a CD on For Four Ears. "From a line, and from's it's slowness, that vibrates, that, trembles, I say, that it is, no more talkative, than a cloud, of its likeness, or than a, gust of wind, in the trees, Now, felling, compelled, to produce words, I say, that it is no, more silent, than a fearful dog, than a satisfied cat, or, than a disturbed, cow, then all bark, purr, or moo, One calls, and the world, answers, One keeps silent, and the world, calls us. This is to be, at the heart, of a line, that vibrates, that trembles, The line dwells, on the side, of the, w o r l d."

Luc Bouquet , www.jazzbreak.com, février 2005
Hubbub "Hoib"
Rares sont les musiques qui nous obligent à rester attentifs à ce point. Pénétrer le monde (donc la musique) d'Hubbub est le genre d'expérience heureuse qui laisse trace. Expérience somme toute enfantine tant elle est portée par cinq musiciens dont l'implication et l'inspiration atteignent immédiatement nos oreilles.
Se laisser aller donc. Etre le réceptacle d’une musique sphérique et vitale. Une musique dans laquelle souffles et cliquetis émergent du silence. Une musique à la respiration de velours. Posée. Offerte à qui veut l'entendre. Musique-vision, musique-voyage. Navigation lente. Longue et brune. Safari des sens. Peuplée. Révélée. Renouvelée. Longtemps présente après écoute. Comme l'écho de la création des mondes. D'autres mondes. Où nous aurons enfin une place. Loin des pouvoirs et des hiérarchies.

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg, JazzAround, 2004
Hubbub . Hoop Whoop - Matchless MRCD53/ Lowlands.
Dans l'univers de la musique improvisée (libre, radicale etc…), on est frappé par le nombre toujours croissant de musiciens qui s'engagent dans cet art à la fois aussi exigeant que gratuit (dans tous les sens du terme, car on y gagne souvent que des clopinettes). Dès lors, il devient plus difficile de ne pas jouer comme X ou Y et d'avoir "quelque chose à dire". Nombre de musiciens plus jeunes n'ont pas toujours l'envergure et le charisme des pionniers qui ont par la suite accédé à la notoriété. Ils ont aussi moins l'occasion de se produire et de mûrir leurs musiques, les organisateurs n'accordant d'importance qu'aux valeurs sûres. Malgré quelques notables exceptions, les musiciens français sont toujours un peu restés en retrait en matière d'originalité. C'est pour tout cela que je tiens spécialement à saluer la musique de ce groupe parisien vraiment étonnant, Hubbub. Le pianiste Frédéric Blondy, les saxophonistes Jean-Luc Guionnet et Bertrand Denzler, le guitariste Jean-Sébastien Mariage et le batteur Edward Perraud, tous autour de la trentaine, se croisent dans plusieurs groupes qui vont du free jazz à l'innovation la plus radicale. Un des groupes de Guionnet et Perraud s'appelle "The Return of The New Thing", tout un programme. Hoop Whoop est le deuxième album d'Hubbub et est publié par Matchless , le label d'Eddie Prévost, percussionniste du groupe AMM. On y entend une musique essentiellement collective où s'efface dans l'enchevêtrement des sons l'exploit individuel du soliste. Peu importe qui joue quoi, personne ne "tire son épingle du jeu ". Le groupe contribue comme un seul homme à cette improvisation de 52'58". Mon collègue P.L. Renou a écrit de remarquables notes de pochette : celles-ci cadrent parfaitement avec une musique qui pose plus de questions qu'elle n'y répond. Comme trop rarement de nos jours, voici un manifeste qui rompt avec les habitudes plutôt qu'un enregistrement de plus, fût - il excellent. Ces cinq courageux défendent une esthétique exigeante et revalorisent de manière exemplaire la nécessité collective de l'improvisation libre que d'aucuns veulent réduire à l'expression soliste d'individualités, certes rares. Chez Hubbub, c'est le très haut degré d'imbrication collective qui fait toute la rareté et le prix de la musique.

Philippe ALEN, Improjazz 109, octobre 2004
Festival NPAI Parthenay 2004Tectonique du mirage. Les discussions, négociations, tractations quant au placement de chacun qui préludèrent au concert de Hubbub pouvaient donner a ceux qui y assistèrent I'idée de la minutie qui préside a I'élaboration d'une musique toujours fascinante. On deplaça le piano, la batterie de cinquante, puis vingt, puis cinq centimètres, les marques se rapprochèrent jusqu'à pousser I'altiste dans I'aisselle du piano, prenant les autres dans une tenaille presque refermée. Pourtant, alors que Bertrand Denzler (ts), Jean-Luc Guionnet (as), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (elg), Fred Blondy (p) et Edward Perraud (dm) s'ingénient à élaborer d'effarantes fusions, ils en sont arrivés au point où, fort de cette expérience, ils peuvent redonner cours à des gestes différenciés sans que ceux-ci surgissent comme des prises de parole individuelle. Des saxophones, de la guitare poussèrent ainsi des saillies sur un climat d'attente, et la musique ne se lissa qu'au bout d'une bonne vingtaine de minutes, alors qu'elle montait en volume. Suraigus d'alto, chocs venus du piano, renvois d'écho de la batterie agirent davantage comme signaux, surgissement de kerns dans la brume, comme autant d'appels isolés vers un chemin demeuré invisible. Mais ce qui semblait tant uni s’effrita. Couche après couche, ce palimpseste laissa percevoir des textures granitées qui s’érodèrent lentement, des plateaux gréseux sculptés par les souffles, des cendres sédimentées aux surfaces craquelées. Une intense activité éolienne dégageait des filons, mais l’essentiel du mouvement demeura souterrain, et des roulements secrets peu a peu lézardèrent une masse dont la porosité semblait promettre une simple dispersion en menues particules. La tectonique découpa des profils qui, pour accusés qu'ils parurent, ne revendiquaient pas d’autonomie dans le paysage qui s’offrait a l’oreille. Un silence se fit, au risque de figer en tableau ce mouvement profond. La relance vint du piano, fort bien assumée. Cette pause apparut alors comme une faille intelligible, et, comme si nous prenions du recul dans cette temporalité géologique pour retrouver notre niche en son giron, la musique s'éloigna. Nous resterions désormais, le temps conclu des festivités, seul a seul avec le silence, « seul luxe après les rimes ». . .

Noël Tachet et Joël Pagier, Improjazz  109, octobre 2004
Festival NPAI Parthenay 2004Enfin vint Hubbub, une formation qui entretenait une relation privilégiée avec le festival et qui resta sur place toute la semaine. Solo de ténor de Denzler en ouverture, solo d'orgue de Jean-Luc Guionnet dans une chapelIe habillée de lumières noires, duo de Frédéric Blondy avec Le Quan Ninh, etc. Ces trois-là, avec Jean-Sébastien Mariage (g) et Edward Perraud (dr), malaxèrent à main nue un son d'ensemble dont la pâte leva si bien qu'on aurait cru la voir se modeler d'elle-même. C'est ça Hubbub : la notion de groupe basée sur l’oubli de l'ego, pas de l'individu.

Géraldine Martin, Improjazz 109, octobre 2004
Festival Jazz à Luz 2004La journée du lundi commença dans une sorte de magie vibratoire. Hubbub (Frédéric Blondy, piano; Bertrand Denzler, saxophone tenor ; Jean-Luc Guionnet, saxophone alto; Jean-Sébastien Mariage, guitare électrique; Edward Perraud, batterie et percussions) nous livre l'intimité d'un imaginaire constamment en effervescence ; presque organique, la masse sonore se développe. L'énergie s'y concentre comme s'il s'agissait d'approfondir, une lumière, un rêve qui viendrait de très loin...

Théo Jarrier, Peace Warriors 22, mars 2004
HUBBUB
"Hoop Whoop" (Matchless Recordings).
Né de rencontres hybrides, cette jeune formation d'improvisateurs européens, composé de Frédéric Blondy, Bertrand Denzler, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Jean-Sébastien Mariage et Edward Perraud, rassemble des membres particulièrement passionnants et actifs, issue des groupes : Œ‚Schams‚‚, Œ‚Chamaelo Vulgaris‚‚ ou du collectif : Œ‚Klac-Sons‚‚. Une des forces majeures du groupe, réside effectivement dans le fait que les membres qui le compose, se croisent sans cesse dans différents contextes, se connaissent parfaitement et pour certains d'entre eux, travaillent depuis quelques années en duo : Guionnet/Perraud et Denzler/Mariage. Autour de ce noyau dur qui s'est naturellement formé, le quintet se construit peu à peu dans un désir de sonder : sonorités,  matières et silences, ouvrant l‚expression à de nouveaux contrastes. En 2000, un premier enregistrement voit le jour : "Ub/Abu", sortie sur le label suisse For 4 Ears. Une étape importante qui permet dorénavant au groupe de se risquer davantage dans une aventure, au-delà de tous schémas, clichés ou cadres, avec une liberté grandissante au rythme de l‚assurance. Aujourd'hui, avec "Hoop Whoop", nous sommes envoûtés dès les premiers instants par une musique à la hauteur de l‚engagement. Complices, leurs jeux réciproques s‚imbriquent continuellement, nous transmettant cette formidable impression de magnétisme. Chacun pétrit la matière, obtenant des sonorités contrastées, cristallines voire rugueuses, où les nuances tonales se font sensibles. Hubbub installe au sein de ces quatre pièces, une liberté des rapports esthétiques digne d'un Schlippenbach quartet où les climats s‚intempèrent, les caractères se diversifient et certains aspects s‚amplifient. Hubbub manifeste aujourd‚hui, à travers l'enregistrement de ce second disque, la nécessité de se prêter de plus en plus à l‚improvisation libre et à la découverte de possibilités à explorer de nouveau et différemment. A la façon d'AMM, le suspense de "Hoop Whoop" nous tient en haleine jusqu'au bout.

Ken Waxman, www.jazzweekly.com, 2003
HUBBUB
Hoop Whoop
Matchless
MRCD 53Hoop Whoop is a refined slice of microtonal EuroImprov by five questing French musicians captured at a festival in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy. One continuous, nearly 53-minute creation, Hubbub's CD is most concerned with the textural and polyphonic qualities the musicians' instruments can bring to a soundscape, while barely raising the listening range above piano. Don't read the booklet notes while experiencing the music however. They provide new evidence to the supposition that the French invented obfuscation. Most of the time you have to supply your own interpretation of the program and decide to which instrument to link each sound. Overall, an electroacoustic drone appears to fade in and out of the program, similar to the continuum that exists in AMM performances. This is probably the result of string manipulation from guitarist Jean-Sébastian Mariage. Guionnet who is interested in electronica and has recorded live in a Paris subway station for quasi-musique concrète effects, and Denzler who performed in a formation with Günter Müller on electronics and mini discs, concentrate most of their efforts within a narrow range of expression. Favored techniques include small breaths, reed chirps and squeals; gradually introduced key pops, tongue slaps and reed kisses; flattement, false fingerings and exaggerated lines that occasionally turn into the hiss of colored noises. One -- or both -- is a fine mimic as well, since what sounds like the gibbering and whistling of monkeys appear at various times, as does the cawing of crows. As a matter of fact, these sibilant aviary squalls are sometimes so clangorous that you could be listening to an aural souvenir of feeding time at a zoo's ornithology exhibit. Something approaching a yawn also emerges at points, though it's probably a unique extended technique rather than a comment on the proceedings.
While all this is going on, Perraud confines himself to equine clip clops from the drum heads, single flams, drags and irregular ratamacues, not to mention portions of the tune when it literally appears as if he's wiping the tops of his drum heads with a cloth. There's also what has almost become the sine qua non of this music: the scrape of a drumstick on cymbal reveling in the overtones and vibrations it creates.
With four of the five musicians involved with polyrhythm and polytonality going their separate ways, only pianist Frédéric Blondy, who has recorded a duo session with percussionist Lê Quan Ninh, seems to cleave to the course and plow on, no matter what's happening around him. From initial restrained, chordal pressure that almost sounds like equal temperament, he keeps his noodling to the minimum, instead he sounds different parts of the keyboard to complement reed vibrations. Similarly there are places where he too turns his instrument into a resonating percussion source.
Not exactly prepared, it still sounds as if extra dampers on the hammers are altering the soundboard's output, as Blondy repetitively clinks the ivories on the keyboard. Hammering on the instrument's side and striking the strings with a bow seems to be another strategy as well as letting loose a moving object -- perhaps a ping pong ball -- within the instrument's innards.

Soizig Le Calvez & Bertrand Le Saux, www.etherreal.com/magazine/, 2003
Hubbub (Frederic Blondy - piano ; Bertrand Denzler & Jean-Luc Guionnet - saxophones - Jean-Sébastien Mariage - guitare ; Edward Perraud - batterie)Les nuits morvandelles sont plus que fraîches, et c'est dans un état second, transis de froid et à moitié endormis, que nous assistons au concert de Hubbub, dont on a souvent l'occasion de voir les membres jouer à Paris, et qui vient de sortir son nouvel album sur le label d'AMM, Matchless Recordings. Le groupe joue au même niveau que le public, sans amplification. La musique est tranquille, et la connexion avec AMM est compréhensible : on retrouve cette même texture sonore continuelle d'où surgissent de petits éclats de piano ou de percussions. L'attention de l'auditeur est maintenue constante par des jeux de saxophone fragiles, comme murmurés, et cette impression qu'à chaque instant, tous les sons de la palette du groupe sont possibles avec la même probabilité.

Franck Médioni, Octopus, 2003
Hubbub
Hoop Whoop
(Matchless Recordings/Métamkine)Hubbub (en anglais «clameur», «tumulte» et «confusion» mais aussi «agitation» et «excitation») réunit cinq musiciens aguerris au jeu subtile et non moins intense de l’improvisation libre. Hubbub (Frédéric Blondy, piano, Bertrand Denzler , saxophone ténor ; Jean-Luc Guionnet, saxophone alto ; Jean-Sébastien Mariage, guitare ; Edward Perraud, batterie) affirme une très forte identité musicale ;  l’entité du groupe se veut plus importante que la simple somme des cinq individualités qui la compose. A un tel point que l’instrumentation des musiciens n’est pas mentionnée dans le livret de ce deuxième enregistrement d’Hubbub sorti sur le label du groupe anglais désormais légendaire AMM. Confiance absolue accordée à l’intuition, au geste musicien, intelligence du jeu collectif, c’est un projet ambitieux, constamment maîtrisé. Quatre parties, quatre improvisations, de 6’32" à 16’58". Une grande musique de chambre à la fois puissante et délicate, une œuvre dont l’ascèse apparente cache à peine la tendresse profonde ; tout un monde de souplesse et de rebondissement, d’errance et de fulgurance qui se déploie, des formes qui se tissent en une vaste émergence de masses et autres mouvements de timbres. Ici, plus que jamais, la forte impression d’écouter une musique organique en mouvement perpétuel. Son déploiement participe pleinement de la forme comme de la poétique de cette musique qui rend ce qu’elle emprunte : ses dimensions éthiques et esthétiques la font urgentes, indispensables.

François Couture, www.allmusic.com, 2003
Hubbub
Hoop Whoop
2003Recorded in December 2001, two years after {$Hubbub}’s debut {^Ub/Abu}, {^Hoop Whoop} shows a lot of maturation as a group. The music has grown somewhat busier, less entrenched in the {$AMM}/{$Spontaneous Music Ensemble} axis of free improvisation. It doesn’t mean that it has become overtly noisy, but to the focus on listening and the research in tiny aspects of sounds, the group has added a gutsier feel that recalls the feverishness of drummer {$Edward Perraud}’s old experimental rock band {$Shub-Niggurath} (especially in its later stages). The music is generally dominated by {$Frédéric Blond}y’s piano and {$Jean-Sébastien Mariage}’s electric guitar. They both tend to play more extrovertly and loud. Mariage’s feedback gnarl carries the piece for several minutes in “Part II” (the album consists of a continuous improvisation of 53 minutes indexed in four parts for convenience). Blondy’s feverish runs in the bass register give a maniacal pace to the second half of “Part III” -- Mariage is quick to match him with a gritty sustained note while Perraud heats up on the drums and the saxophones of {$Bertrand Denzler} and {$Jean-Luc Guionnet} flutter like two parakeets arguing each other’s head off. At this point, the level of group playing reaches its peak. In the quieter sections (especially the first and last parts), the saxophonists take a more prominent role, using extended techniques to extract strange whispers and odd cries from their instruments... {^Hoop Whoop} is one of the great free improv albums of 2003.

Guillaume TARCHE , Improjazz 98, septembre 2003
HUBBUB HOOP WHOOP Matchless MRCD 53 *Il faut arriver à une certaine températurequi rende les choses malléables. Georges BraqueComme un arc lentement bandé, la musique s’élève, de toutes parts, enlace, épais fluide dont on se demande par quelle télépathie ostéophonique (l’adjectif est de Barry Guy) il est conduit. Une forêt nous précède / et nous tient lieu de corps / et modifie les figures et dresse / la griffe / d’un supplice spacieux / où l’on se regarde mourir / avec des forces inépuisables / mourir revenir / à la pensée de son reflux compact / comme s’écrit l’effraction, le soleil / toujours au cœur et à l’orée / des grand arbres transparents. (Jacques Dupin) Le lacis des fractales végétales et des textures tuilées à l’œuvre, in progress et in process (la mention d’AMM dans le lumineux livret de P.-L. Renou est justifiée) emporte, de bout en bout, l’adhésion physique et suscite un enthousiasme sans réserve. Enregistrée en décembre 2001 à Vandœuvre, cette musique toute de magie organique se diffuse dans l’espace et le remodèle, concurrençant les dispositifs électroacoustiques les plus sophistiqués. Emerveillement assuré, de chaque instant !Interrogés successivement ces derniers mois dans Improjazz, Frédéric Blondy (in n° 95), Edward Perraud (in n° 96) et Bertrand Denzler (in n° 97) [ mais aussi tous les cinq (avec Jean-Luc Guionnet et Jean-Sébastien Mariage) en janvier 2002 (in n° 81) ] rendaient compte de leur relation au collectif et l’on se souviendra de Perraud indiquant (n° 96, page 7) que la mention des instruments joués ne serait pas portée " sur le prochain disque ". C’est effectivement le cas et l’on ne peut que souscrire (mais quel auditeur de ces musiques vives ne le ferait ? ! – la chose est entendue) à la démarche, rejoignant le rédacteur des notes d’accompagnement dans sa belle formule : " L’assignation d’une source à chaque événement sonore ne relève plus ici que d’un jeu de société " ; l’effet de cette disparition partielle est cependant diminué car les musiciens étaient identifiés par le précédent enregistrement du groupe (Ub/Abu, For 4 Ears 1241, Dist. Improjazz) et parce que leurs noms subsistent tout de même (ainsi que le copyright) sur le présent disque… Détails et chicaneries, direz-vous… Pas si sûr, d’autant qu’un rideau tiré entre scène et public lors d’un concert au Grand Mix de Tourcoing l’été dernier, déconditionnait (en la conditionnant – certes un peu pédagogiquement) l’écoute.

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy Nr. 42, 2003
HUBBUB Hoop Whoop (Matchless Recordings, MRCD53)
Zweitling des französischen Improquintetts, dessen Debut "Ub/Abu" 2001 auf For 4 Ears erschienen ist (-> BA 38). Live am 4.12.2001 im Culturel André Malraux in Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy erzeugten Frédéric Blondy (piano), Bertrand Denzler & Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophones), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (guitar) und Edward Perraud (percussion) erneut eine derart konsequent prä- oder posthumane Protoästhetik, dass sie Linernoteautor P.-L. Renou zu solch dichterphilosophischen Gewagtheiten hinrissen wie: "Digested, assimilated in the details, the nucleus has itself become the envelope of its own absence." Sankt Derrida & Lyotard, bittet für uns. Aber natürlich ist das schön gesagt. Auch wenn er von paläozoischen Knochen spricht, aus denen sich ausgestorbene Lebewesen oder von obskuren Notationscodes, aus denen sich Klänge rekonstruieren, aber nicht verifizieren lassen, von Licht- und Partikelspuren, aus denen sich auf eine Quelle schließen lässt, die aber auch nicht erster Erreger, sondern selbst kontingent ist oder wenn er den fünf Tumultanten Subjektlosigkeit nachsagt, dann will er mit all dem nur einen Eindruck vermitteln, der sich durch die Musik aufdrängt, der mit Sprache aber schwer zu fassen ist, weil sie angesichts von A-Logik und ohne Subjekt-Prädikat-Objekt-Sicherheit schweigen muss. Derridas negative Neognosis las den vagen Phantomschmerz, aus dem auf etwas Fehlendes oder Abwesendes geschlossen wird, also die vermisste Spur als letzte und einzige Spur des Deus absconditus. Renou möchte, da er den Tod des Subjekts ähnlich axiomatisch setzt wie andere den Tod Gottes, die taktilen - er nennt es 'figurative' - Eigenschaften der Hubbub'schen polymorph-perversen Geräuschkonfigurationen keinen auch noch so spontanen Akteuren zuschreiben, sondern einem prozesshaften, fließenden Kontinuum. Musiker und Hörer sind in dieser Vorstellung, wenn ich sie recht verstehe, eingebettet in eine organische, holistisch-universale Urzelle, Medien des Élan vital. Nun, bereits Nietzsche hielt sich, er war ja nicht ganz so humorlos, wie man ihn hinstellt, für den Krikelkrakel einer größeren Macht. Mein einziger kleiner Einwand gegen Renous Schwurbelei ist dann auch, dass er den frisch geschlüpften Hoop Whoop auf Stelzen auf den Markt schickt, um todernst zu verkünden, dass Pop tot sei, statt dass er ihn ein odradekisches Rätsel bleiben lässt.

Jeff Surak, Vital Weekly 384, 2003
HUBBUB - HOOP WHOOP (CD by Matchless Recordings)
Hubbub is a quintet comprised of 2 saxes, guitar, piano, and percussion, and this is a live recording from December 2001. The cover of this cd is a green saturated photo of a  forest. Quite appropriate as, this being released by the home label of AMM, which has been described as like or unlike trees. Hubbub shares some similarities to AMM, working in the realm of free/meta musics. On this cd the sound is less like a single tree, or a dense forest, but rather the sonic equivalent of being in a hailstorm, pelted by a fury of ice pellets. The first 2 sections of this live recording work in this vein, each instrument coming at you in short blasts but all part of one mass of sound propelled forward, or downward, if one is to continue the metaphor. Very forceful music and made more so compelling by its primarily acoustic instrumentation. The storm eases up, and then softer sounds are explored. In the last ten minutes the piano and guitar set the tone, with fast trills and wavering guitar screeches. The groups eases back and changes direction again, exploring the silences between, and working more with duration than the barrage of short blasts at the opening. Hubbub succeeds in pushing themselves to the limit and going in many directions without losing focus and cohesion in this dynamic performance.

Luc Bouquet, Improjazz 99, octobre 2003
HUBBUB "Hoop Whoop", Matchless Recordings 53(Frédéric Blondy, Bertrand Denzler, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Jean-Sébastien Mariage, Edward Perraud)Une note. Une seule. Incarnée à l’unisson. Peu à peu les sons se déploient avec lenteur. Hubbub avance ainsi, collectivement (les instruments joués par chacun ont été exclus des notes de pochette). Lente respiration. Lent cortège. Horizontalité. Une même réceptivité. Et toujours le même déplacement. Les sons enflent, le spasme guette. Cette note, toujours ; tellurique, monolithe protecteur qui guide, prévient toute cassure. Unité. Silence. Striures et crissements. Batterie vocale. Rigueur collective. Respiration ultime. Carte postale : CCAM, 4 décembre 2001. Le voyage est terminé. Merci.

Walter Horn, http://bagatellen.com, September 08, 2003
Hubbub – Hoop Whoop
Matchless Recordings MRCD53I have, for good or (more likely) ill, long compared e-ai pieces to models derived from the classical concert stage. I have praised many recordings in proportion to their propensity to remind me of, say, Ligeti’s Lontano, or Pendercki’s Threnody. Proximity to AMM is, to many, also a test of quality, and, I think, a good one. But if we were to remove all the proper names here and try (per impossibile) to reduce my conception of beauty in e-ai to recognizable, non-aesthetic qualities, what would we come up with? Perhaps a certain large-scale "glassiness" in conjunction with lots of apparently microsmic stuff going on "just beneath the surface." Repetition of a certain sort is generally eschewed, as is, of course, melody and regular pulse. Certain types of imitation are allowed among the performers, with respect to things like drones or dynamics or even "explosion events." For example, while a lengthy, single pitch unison drone might be allowed or even encouraged, the exact copying of a five-note phrase would be actionable.Whether or not I have accurately reproduced any portion of the mostly subconscious criteria that attracts me to one work and not another, Hoop Whoop has all the operative goods in spades. Hubbub consists of pianist Frederic Blondy, reed players Bertrand Denzler and Jean-Luc Guionnet, guitarist Jean-Sebastien Mariage, and percussionist Edward Perraud who, together, have created a work of art both glimmering and trenchant. There is plenty of dynamic range and a significant diversity of timbres here, but those who are "off jazz" need not fear that they will be exposed to any Berklee School riffs. The saxophonists mostly restrict themselves to harmonics and other extended techniques, generally laying off even the sort of playing that Evan Parker engages in when he performs with AMM of SME members. The Individual sounds produced on this disc range from crunchy to dreamy or delicate, while the ensemble as a whole makes stops at icy, questioning and agonized without ever departing too far from the above-mentioned shimmering. With the exception of some five minutes or so of bumblebee material (instigated by Blondy but mirrored by the two wind players) in the middle of track 3 (the tracks have been inserted later solely to aid retrieval), there are no false steps. And even during that fast-churning bit, Mariage’s whining, double-stopped trills and wails and Perraud’s deft cymbal work salvage what could have been a painful alteration in perspective—from the "egolessness" of weather to that of the hive or ant farm. Anyhow, I love this recording, and I think that everyone else should too—at least everyone who enjoy early Ligeti, Penderecki, Roger Reynolds or the AMM of Inexhaustible Document.

P.-L. Renou, www.jazzmagazine.com, 2003
Londres, le statut de la liberté
Tenu avant l'été, le festival londonien Freedom of the City mérite aussi que l'on parle de lui, même hors saison... Du 3 au 5 mai, Freedom of The City 2003 s’est tenu grâce à l’opiniâtreté de ses organisateurs (Martin Davidson, Eddie Prevost et les musiciens), malgré le retrait à la dernière minute de la subvention promise : 21 concerts et près de 80 musiciens en autogestion.Temps fort de la journée Prévost : Hubbub, indéniablement, premiers Français invités alors que paraît “Hoop Whoop” sur Matchless. Musique fouillée, fourmillante et pourtant unie, qui lève comme une pâte sous l’action des ferments. Ovation.

Clive Bell, The Wire 233, juillet 2003
HUBBUB HOOP WHOOP MATCHLESS MR53« Hoop Whoop is not a work, it is a process » says the sleevenote essay by P-L Renou, about the only sentence I could understand in an impenetrably pretentious piece of writing. As well as being a process, it's a 53 minute live recording - very well recorded, in fact - by French improvising quintet Hubbub. The most compelling music comes right at the beginning, as mysterious drones (electric guitar?) and tremulous saxophone are punctuated by carefully placed deep thumps from a massive drum. This evolves into a texture of rapid, gentle flapping and scrabbling, the sax stuttering and snarling. As everyone plays quicker, they maintain unity, weaving a group tapestry from several fastmoving lines. Released on Eddie Prevost's Matchless, there are echoes here of his group AMM's long haul approach: the long march, through deep listening and concentration, to musical paradise. Unfortunately Hubbub just don't have the patience to keep it up. By 15 minutes in, the drums are getting seriously busy. Guitar and sax are droning still, but the effect is a large locomotive straining to release the brakes. It's something like AMM, but AMM trying frantically to find their car keys. By halfway, Hubbub abandon all pretence to seeking deep calm to run amok in an old school Improv freakout. Although 'freakout' is not the right word: it implies too much abandon. Plenty of advanced technique is on dlspiay, and the angst-ridden, pointillist piano is all too familiar from contemporary composition. It's rather a pofaced, slightly arid 'contemporary music' kneesup of the sort Alterations were satirising 25 years ago. These days I hear this stuff with a mixture of memory lane nostalgia, and annoyance that supposediy 'free' music should harden almost into an academic genre. Either way, once through is enough.

Thierry Lepin, Jazzman 95, octobre 2003
HUBBUB Hoop Whoop ****Créé en 1999, le quintette réunit Frédéric Blondy (piano), Bertrand Denzler (saxophone ténor), Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophone alto), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (guitare) et Edward Perraud (batterie) : une des formations des plus excitantes de la scène française. " Hoop Whoop" se joue en une seule pièce de plus de cinquante minutes, dense et nerveuse a la fois. Chacun oeuvre ici pour le collectif, sans souci d'ego. Un fourmillement sonore, où s'affirme à travers le bris des matières la quête de nouvelles résonances musicales. Si Hubbub se situe dans la descendance d'AMM, c'est dans un work in progress permanent qu'ils forgent leur identité, leur unité. Sans qu'ils en soient redevables. D'une spontanéité toute réfléchie, Hubbub réjouit.

Serge Perrot, Improjazz 99, octobre 2003
Festival Fruits de Mhère 2003•Puis vint Hubbub [soit Frédéric Blondy (p), Bertrand Denzler (ts), Jean-Luc Guionnet (as), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (g) et Edward Perraud (dm)] ; j'ai déjà écrit dans ces colonnes que je considérais Hubbub comme le meilleur groupe français d'improvisation, et après leur prestation de Brassy je persiste et signe. Hubbub, c'est une musique évoluant et bruissant de façon omniprésente, par strates, avec un incessant travail sur le souffle de la part des saxophonistes, Guionnet donnant l’impression de jouer mélodique alors que Denzler est plus tranchant. Le piano et la batterie sont « preparés » dans l'instant, Perraud cognant force « pêches » sur ces cymbales. Cela donne une atmosphère calme, non dénuée de scories, qui nous emmène vers des horizons insoupçonnés.

Philippe Alen, Improjazz 98, septembre 2003
Festival Freedom of the City, Londres 2003The next highlight from this year’s Freedom of the City Festival comes from a quintet who are based in another capital with a vibrant avant-garde scene, Paris. Previous Freedom of the City have benefited from an enthusiastic French contingent in the audience, so it seemed appropriate for the Festival to feature a group from that country this year. Hubbub was the band promoting Anglo-French relations, and it comprises: Frederic Blondy on piano, Bertrand Denzler & Jean-Luc Guionnet saxophones, Jean-Sebastien Mariage guitar and Edward Perraud drums.BBC Radio 3, 2003
Festival Freedom of the City, Londres 2003Premiers invités non britanniques, les cinq français de Hubbub (Bertrand Denzler, ts; Jean-Luc Guionnet, as ; Jean-Sébastien Mariage, elg; Frédéric Blondy, p; Edward Perraud, dm) abordèrent sur un terrain déjà bien retourné. Parvenu à maturité, Hubbub impressionne par sa capacité à susciter un univers sonore autonome, détaché de toute individualité. La disposition des musiciens en une ligne frontale accusa la sensation d'une parfaite transversalité du son: un froissement émis de la batterie disposée à un bout de la chaîne, termina sa course dans le piano, à l'autre bout de la scène. Pourtant, rumeur vivante, anonyme, à la croissance corallienne, parcourue des frissons de son centre et résorbée dans le tout, la musique se déploya tout en convexité. Il sembla qu'un espace se fissurait en s'étendant, grinçait comme une grille qui s'ouvre lentement sur un horizon vacant. Comme si la vue portait alors a l'infini, épousant sa courbure, comme si l'ouïe l'accompagnait clans la reconnaissance de « l'autre côté »,le volume qui prit forme ne relevait plus à proprement parler de la dynamique, mais de la « mise au point » creusant la profondeur de champ. Bien peu d'ensembles peuvent se prévaloir d'avoir atteint ce haut degré de fusion à partir duquel la musique semble vivre comme un feu chaque fois ranimé, à partir de ses braises chaudes, par le simple souffle de cinq vestales. Chaque fois, car il semble que la musique a débuté dès avant le concert, et qu'elle « repart», ainsi qu'on le dit d'une flambée. Et lorsque les deux saxophones mêlés a la guitare jetèrent le pont d'une longue tenue d'où surgit une résultante grave qui mit en résonance la scène et la salle, sans doute y pouvait-on discerner le symbole vivant de cette conspiration des moyens matériels et humains à produire ce phénomène qui porte le tout de l'existence en un courant anonyme et continu qu'est la vie. L'ovation qui s' ensuivit, un accueil qui se situa bien au-delà de ceux réservés aux prestations les plus fortes, témoigna de ce que Hubbub s'était embarqué dans une aventure dont les échos touchaient au plus profond de ce qui anime le désir de la musique.

Guillaume Tarche, Improjazz 98, septembre 2003
HUBBUB ~ HOOP WHOOP . Matchless MRCD 53Il faut arriver a une certaine température qui rende les choses malléables. Georges BraqueComme un arc lentement bandé, la musique s'élève, de toutes parts, enlace, épais fluide dont on se demande par quelle télépathie ostéophonique (l'adjectif est de Barry Guy) il est conduit. Une forêt nous précède / et nous tient lieu de corps / et modifie les figures et dresse / la griffe / d'un supplice spacieux / où I'on se regarde mourir / avec des forces inépuisables / mourir revenir / à la pensée de son reflux compact / comme s'écrit I'effraction, le soleil / toujours au coeur et à I'orée / des grand arbres transparents. (Jacques Dupin) Le lacis des fractales végétales et des textures tuilées à l'oeuvre, in progress et in process (la mention d'AMM dans le lumineux livret de P.-L. Renou est justifiée) emporte, de bout en bout, l'adhésion physique et suscite un enthousiasme sans réserve. Enregistrée en décembre 2001 à Vandoeuvre, cette musique toute de magie organique se diffuse dans l'espace et le remodèle, concurrençant les dispositifs électroacoustiques les plus sophistiqués. Emerveillement assuré, de chaque instant !

Massimo Padalino, www.sentireascoltare.com, 2003
Senza Partita
Vince per manifesta superiorità "tecnica", almeno quest’anno, l’etichetta anglosassone Matchless.
Categoria: pesi massimi della scena avant contemporanea. Un mastodonte quale "Hoop Whoop" degli Hubbub incute stupore e spavento per la perizia con cui sonda, riflettendone luce nuova come da un prisma sonoro inedito, il già detto nell’ambito stilistico di riferimento.gli highlight e le classifiche di www.sentireascoltare.com

Serge Perrot, Improjazz N° 91, 01/2003
Festival Densités 2002Autres instants fortissimo, les sons que nous a distillés le groupe Hubbub. Je dois avouer que lors de ce concert j'ai pris la claque de ma vie; un son de groupe comme on n'en entend quasiment jamais, un travail des saxes phénoménal (se rencontrant et s'éloignant), de multiples combinaisons, un pianiste qui prépare son instrument arc-bouté sur lui, bref il ressort de Hubbub une énergie folle, des grouillements, un bouillonnement extraordinaire, la révélation du festival. Au bar régnait une magnifique atmosphère après ce quintet; mines réjouies, visages détendus. Les organisateurs de festivals plus "huppés" feraient bien de programmer cette formation car à défaut ils feront passer leur public à côté de quelque chose de grandiose.

Rigobert Dittmann, bad alchemy 38, 2002
Die Etymologen sind sich nicht recht einig darüber, ob 'hubbub' auf einen keltischen Ausruf der Verachtung zurückzuführen ist ('ub') oder auf den altirischen Kriegsschrei 'abu'. Heute benutzt man den Ausdruck für 'Lärm, Tumult, Wirrwar' und das macht sich auch als Bandname nicht schlecht. Wenn die Musik entsprechend ist. Aber das ist nun wirklich kein Problem für das HUBBUB-Quintett. Es besteht aus dem Pianisten Frédéric Blondy, dem Tenorsaxophonisten Bertrand Denzler (B. Denzler Cluster, 49° Nord), dem Alt- und Sopransaxophonisten Jean-Luc Guionnet (Warburton Quartet, Schams), dem E-Gitarristen Jean-Sébastien Mariage (Chamaeleo Vulgaris) und dem Schlagzeuger Edward Perraud (Shub Niggurath [!], Warburton Quartet) und, wie zu vermuten, der Name ist Programm. Mit den zwei langen Improvisationen von "Ub/Abu" (For 4 Ears 1241) zeigen die fünf eine sehr deutliche Tendenz, die Plinkplonk-Welt infernalisch zu schüren, ohne sie aber als solche in Frage zu stellen. Sie bleiben ohne Fusionsbereitschaft innerhalb des selbst gesteckten Zirkels, leisten darin Feinarbeit mit einem fiebrig überdrehten Notenausstoß. Meistens frönt das komplette Kollektiv dieser Ästhetik der Brown'schen Molekularbewegung, sie setzen die Klangmoleküle gern und oft unter Druck. Aber wenn SME gut drauf waren, klangen sie vor dreißig Jahren auch nicht viel anders.

Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine, December 2001
HUBBUB, UB/ABU, FOR 4 EARS 1241.
UB / ABU 54:56
Frédéric Blondy, p; Bertrand Denzler, ts; Jean-Luc Guionnet, as, ss, jaleika; Jean-Sébastien Mariage, g; Edward Perraud, d, perc. 1/30/00, Paris, France.Hubbub is a French quintet that cites the English dictionary definition of the word in describing its music, yet I did not find it to be "loud, confused noise from many sources." To the contrary, Hubbub is a collective of free improvisers who play with fire but who appear to have a defined objective and direction for their outgoing persona. The music has an ethereal base, but it rises to peaks of power in a designed, methodical manner and then falls back into a quiet mood, only to spurt to the summit again. Denzler and Guionnet are the two reed players spiriting this music, which is poked and gouged by the electric guitar streams from Mariage. Blondy applies the outbound sounds from the piano strings and keyboard, and Perraud uses a multitude of small percussion instruments to accent the set.
The program consists of two lengthy pieces where all five musicians engage in an open conversation that flows as one continuous dissertation. Both horn men speak in short, intermittent and fully unstructured statements, while the others engulf the session with a haze of jagged sound. The staccato pace is prevalent throughout. High-pîtched squeaks burst from the alto of Guionnet, and Denzler counters with similar though deeper substance on tenor. Mariage scrapes his guitar strings in spooky reprisal, and Perraud tiptoes through bells, cymbals, gongs, and other sound producers to make delicate percussion talk. Blondy matches the stop and start methodology with precise piano key stabs. Flow is not in this group's vocabulary, yet Hubbub gets to the core of sound reproduction and expounds profoundly in a unified, albeit near-foreign tongue. The only way to grasp what this heady music is saying is to listen very intently.

Francois Couture, www.allmusic.com, 6 2001
Hubbub
Ub/Abu
For 4 Ears
CD 1241When Ub/Abu was recorded in January 2000, the French quintet Hubbub had yet to make its public debut (it happened two months later). Regrouping members of Schams, Klack-Sons, Dan Warburton’s Return of the New Thing project, and Chamaeleo Vulgaris, the ensemble mostly set its esthetic on the latter’s. Therefore tenor saxophonist Bertrand Denzler and guitarist Jean-Sébastien Mariage lead the way most of the time. The album features two 30 minute improvisations, a format very different from the suites of short songs adopted by Chamaeleo Vulgaris, and yet the result remains close, as both groups love to play very quietly, gradually scratching their way above audible level. Mariage’s free rock guitar is easily recognizable.  Drummer Edward Perraud and pianist Frédéric Blondy adopt a contrasting free jazz approach. Denzler and second saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet establish a nice dialogue during the last half of Abu. All these musicians know each other from various projects. As a result, the expected hubbub (“a loud noise of many confused voices,”according to {-Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary}, 1998) turns out pretty cohesive. The five-headed beast is well disciplined. Its music thrives, more organic and visceral than British free improvisation, without turning into an egocentric power blast. There is a lot happening, but a lot of listening too. The second a new idea emerges it is harnessed and guided in the same direction than whatever was already happening. That is the proof of a mature ensemble and this one groups some of the best players of the turn-of-the-century French improv scene. Strongly recommended.

Steven A. Loewy, allmusic.com, 7 2001
HUBBUB (group)/“UB/ABU”/For 4 Ears Records/1241/1. UB~26:03 2.ABU~28:4
These two freely improvised pieces by the makeshift group calling itself HUBBUB live up to the group’s name. The music is variously loud, cacophonous, and clamorous, minimalist, static and largely directionless. Yet, oddly, there is an appeal, the same sort of attraction that attracts nihilist yearnings embedded deep in the soul. The combination of two saxes, guitar, piano, and drums is capable of numerous permutations of sound. Here, the results are alternatively frenzied and confused, leading nowhere. Whether these pieces symbolize a restlessness, disillusion, and despair is a question for the musical philosophers. That they are unlike anything else is more certain. The tracks are  not related to the thrash-and-burn style so prevalent in avant-garde circles, nor are they chamber-like. They are the sort of noise-infused kaleidoscope likely to annoy anyone not remotely open to their unique perspective. There are many passages in which the volume is lessened, even to a near-whisper, when the tinkling of the cymbals is barely audible and the saxophones are a faint whimper. There is never the semblance of melody or logical progression, and the simple fact that the quintet can sustain interest during two pieces each clocking in at more than twenty-six minutes is a remarkable feat. The saxes are absorbed into a percussionist perspective, as often are the piano and guitar, so that there is a wholeness that defies the individuality of separate identities. Exhausting to listen to, and probably even more so to perform, this collective effort succeeds primarily as anti-art, a protest, perhaps, against reason and technology, but it can just as easily stand for nothing at all.

Dan Warburton, www.paristransatlantic.com, 2001
Hubbub, UB/ABU
For4Ears CD 1241Hubbub is a Paris-based quintet featuring Jean-Luc Guionnet and Bertrand Denzler on saxophones, Jean-Sébastien Mariage on guitar, Frédéric Blondy on piano and Edward Perraud on percussion. In the small world that is improvised music in the French capital (or anywhere else you care to mention), collaborative ventures abound: Swiss-born Denzler and Mariage both play in Chamaleo Vulgaris, Guionnet and Perraud have a long-standing duo act, Calx (and have a couple of releases due on Cadence later this year), and pianist Fred Blondy plays in various duos and trios with everyone. Hubbub is a project for long attention spans – the two pieces that make up this album last respectively 26 and 28 minutes, and each takes its time to unfold. Perraud's use of bowed and scraped cymbals and Mariage's atmospheric guitar thread in and out of the texture, while the saxophonists lay down long lines and follow them into music that perhaps has more in common with contemporary classical writing – especially the musique spectrale of Grisey and Murail – than it does with the hiccups and splatters of your "standard" improv sound (that said, track two really gets rocking after ten minutes or so). It's not hard to listen to, but you have to pay attention. If there are any palm-readers out there, maybe they'd like to enlighten me on the fortunes of the person whose hand was photographed for the album cover – gazing into my own crystal ball, I foresee a long and artistically fruitful future for all concerned.

Gustave CERUTTI, Improjazz 78, septembre 2001
HUBBUB, UB / ABU
For Four Ears 1241
Frédéric Blondy : p ; Bertrand Denzler: ts ; Jean-Luc Guionnet : ss, as, jaleika ; Jean-Sébastien Mariage : 9 ; Edward Perraud : dr, perc. Paris, 3 janvier 2000Quand on observe un nid de fourmis, on constate une activité fébrile apparemment désordonnée alors que chaque individu de la communauté accomplit une fonction bien définie. Comparativement, c'est un peu ce qui se passe au sein du groupe Hubbub où l'aventure collective prime sur l'individualisme solistique. Dans cette musique, on ne trouve aucune trace de romantisme mais une tension permanente alimentée par une fureur froide a dominante métallique d'une extrême densité. Avant tout destinée a ceux qui estiment qu'un rabotage sporadique des tympans au papier émerisé s'avère bénéfique à l'entretien de leur acuité auditive !Gustave CERUTTI, Improjazz 78, septembre 2001

Mark Keresman www.jazzreview.com, 2001
Hubbub, UB/ABU Year: 2001 Record Label: For 4 Ears Musicians: Frederic Blondy: piano; Betrand Denzler, Jean-Luc Guionnet: reeds; Jean-Sebastian Mariage: guitar; Edward Perraud: drums, perc. Review: Hubbub is a collective of European (French or Swiss, I believe) improvisers who specialize (with this platter, anyway) in the more spacey/ambient mode of free improvisation. They lean more toward the organic approach of AMM and Richard Teitelbaum rather than the loopy, fragmented Company/Derek Bailey Brit thing or the balls-to-the-wall attack of Germans like Peter Brotzmann. The two pieces evolve slowly, placing the emphasis on texture and measured group interplay rather than catharsis or any sort of rhythmic impetus. Simply put, this is music for late nights, darkened rooms and perhaps some rapt reading, but demands more involvement than mere “background music.” No one player dominates, everyone plays judiciously. UB/ABU is unlikely likely win many converts to Euro-improv, but those who admire or crave a more “impressionist” or ambient approach to free-improvisation will likely enjoy this.

Richard CochraneMusings, 2001
Hubbub: Ub/Abu
(For4Ears)Frederic Blondy (piano), Bertrand Denzler (tenor sax), Jean-luc Guionnet (reeds), Jean-Sebastien Mariage (guitar), Edward Perraud (drums)
Hubbub as a project shares Mariage and Denzler in common with Chamaeleo Vulgaris, a project which impressed with its mixture of dark and witty, rather rock-inflected free improv. Hubbub put aside the eletronics which worked so well for Chamaeleo; instead the quartet plays together as a unit rather than forming a shifting pool of musicians for Mariage and Frederick Galiay to draw on.
Inevitably the results are closer to more familiar improv yardsticks, but this music still has a strongly atmospheric, very textural quality which immediately impresses. Broken into just two, half-hour segments, it presents neither focussed developments of single ideas nor quick-change scrabbling;instead these are drifting, slowly-evolving soundscapes.Although electronics aren't used, the aesthetic they helped realise in Chamaeleo is here again with Hubbub. Specific sounds are only intermittently attributable to particular musicians; instead, the ensemble blends extended techniques using an holistic strategy.
Of course, it often does happen that individual statements can be clearly attributed. Guionnet's Jaleika sounds like a double-reed and he plays long, keening notes on it; Denzler, although he uses a huge range of tactics, always sounds himself, enjoying the gruff wuffle of the tenor. Blondy's piano is a prepared one, as you might imagine, and it rings out only to dive back again into the percussive substrate which seems always to be around in this music -- credit of much of which must go, of course, to Perraud, who sounds a little like Roger Turner, a drummer of the very dramatic gesture and an eschewer of riffs. Mariage is comparable with Hans Tammen; he lacks the range of the latter, but he plays cleverly here and makes an indispensible contribution.
One's overall impression is, however, of the submission of individual egos to the greater aim of collective music-making. This is hugely successful, as it so often is in improvised music, and it feels rather odd, listening to this music, to refer to it was quintet improvisation at all. Improvisation it certainly is, and of an extremely good sort, ever-evolving but never feeling sketchy or out of ideas.

Richard di Santo, www.incursion.org, 2001
HUBBUB: UB/ABU
For4Ears | 1241 | CD
Hubbub is an improvisational collective comprised of Frédéric Blondy (piano), Bertrand Denzler (tenor sax), Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto and soprano sax, jaleïka), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (amplified guitar) and Edward Perraud (drums and percussion). This album was recorded in Paris, January 2000 by Vincent Joinville. "Hubbub" is the perfect word to describe this project, and it's no wonder they have gone to great lengths to emphasise the meaning of the word in the sleeve by providing dictionary definitions and examples of use in the English language, perhaps the most telling of which being Macaulay's "this hubbub of unmeaning words". The music carries the same suggestion; there's a certain tumult, a confused noise, which hums its way throughout these two long pieces. The din of noises rises slowly, like a dinner party where the guests become more relaxed and verbal after a few drinks. None of the instruments take the lead and there are no competitive outbursts, only a busy, complex hubbub of sounds and textures. The feeling here is that at any moment the hubbub is going to climax and erupt into a cathartic chaos, but it never happens. The players maintain an uncanny control over the direction of their improvisations; there's so much to listen to here, it's a wonder there are only five members in this collective. An intriguing record, and wonderfully executed.

Ken Waxman, www.jazzweekly.com, 2001
HUBBUB - UB/ABU
For4Ears CD 1241Probably one of the most fascinating aspects of this almost 55-minute slab of collective improvisation is that it was created almost exclusively on acoustic instruments.Despite jazzers' broadening knowledge of the textures now available from the flick of a switch, the placement of a wire or a keyboard movement, it appears that the only item plugged in on this session was the electric guitar.The Hubbubers prove that acoustic brouhaha can be just as convincing as the electric variety -- if not more so -- and have created a remarkable auditory soundscape with this disc.Moving from passages of extreme, almost imperceptible reverberations up to extended timbre-tests that reflect the band's name, the only heavy metal sounds arise are from cymbals being scraped and the odd electric guitar run. Throughout, an overriding ostinato drone ties together the different instrumental expositions.Saxophonists Jean-Luc Guionnet and Bertrand Denzler are both believers in extended techniques and contribute trills, split tones, flutter-tonguing and false fingering to make their impressions. Veterans of Continental sessions with like-minded vibration searchers, they don't treat their horns as melody makers but as sound sources able to provide a running commentary on the proceedings. Occasionally one -- usually the tenorist spewing out repeated basso notes that could come from a trombone -- will engage in dialogue with another player, but that's soon subsumed into the collective whole. Other times, another-- perhaps Guionnet -- will produce a protracted muezzin-like buzz with his axe.Drummer Edward Perraud, who has recorded with Guionnet as the band Return of the New Thing, does no time keeping either. The very model of an EuroImprov percussionist, he jabs, suggests, stokes and languidly investigates his many surfaces while ignoring the standard beat. Similarly, pianist Frédéric Blondy and guitarist Jean-Sébastien Mariage spend more time inserting single notes into the mix -- one at a time -- then exploring their instruments' chordal possibilities.Exposing the strings and wood inside his instrument as frequently as he's on the keys, the pianist, who leads improv workshops in Paris, can function as a secondary percussionist as readily as he's able to suggest truncated, usually low-key melodies. Never ignoring the fuzz and feedback possibilities the guitar can produce, Mariage uses them as a sort of continuo, but at a subdued level, so as to blend with, rather than to disrupt, the proceedings.Photography for the CD booklet is made up of close-up studies of the back of someone's hands and the palm. In itself it suggests the human element than went into the creation of this disc. Many, hearing the session, will bring their palms together to clap for the achievement.

Glenn Astarita, wwww.allaboutjazz.com, 2001
UB/ABU, HUBBUB (For4Ears Records)
“HUBBUB” signifies a collective of adventurous, improvising musicians who sport extensive resumes in the Euro-Jazz free improv arena. Comprised of two lengthy works, the band pursues atonal extended note sub themes, subversive drones, and jagged frameworks throughout the entire production. This somewhat amorphous presentation moves about in some sort of imaginatively conjured horizontal course, as the music contains relatively few peaks and valleys. However, saxophonists, Bertrand Denzler and Jean Luc-Guionnet often partake in sputtering dialogue atop Jean-Sebastien Mariage’s sustained, electric guitar lines and Edward Perraud’s happenstance-like percussion fills. - The band surges onward in rather diminutive fashion on the second opus titled, “ABU.” Here, we are treated to pianist Frederic Blondy’s delicate voicings, the soloists’ chatty dialogue, and a multitude of subliminally executed exchanges, as the proceedings tend to become a bit chaotic towards the finale. Overall, UB/ABU is a relatively subdued free-improvisational style excursion, awash with subtle musings and minimalist progressions. Moreover, this release should not be deemed background music fare, although a sense of invariability prevails midway through the second piece.

JS, oct 2001
HUBBUB - "UB/ABU" (CD by For4ears Records) This is the first release from HUBBUB, a french group who formed in 1999 by several long time improvisors. (The drummer, Edward Perraud, played in Shub Niggurath!) This music moves. free music, as in AMM rather than SME, whereas the group plays as a group to form a solid mass of sound, as opposed to a collection of individual voices moving in time. Not static. The music flows, builds and ebs. pitches. drones. swatches of sound. etheral and resonant. not a single uncessary note is played. A quintet using saxes, piano, amplified guitar, jaleika, percussion. Mostly the instruments remain recognizable, but work together to create the feel of one giant instrument. Timbres and attacks change across all of the instruments simitaneously, as a giant canvas reveals itself before your ears. A great recording. (JS)

James D. Armstrong, Jr., www.jazznow.com, 2001
Hubbub, Ub/Abu
For4 Ears Records, Switzerland (CD 1241)
Bertrand Denzler, tenor saxophone; Jean-Luc Guionnet, alto & soprano saxophone, Jaleika; Frederic Blondy, piano; Jean-Sebastien Mariage, guitar; Edward Perraud, drums & percussion.
Hubbub, the adventurous European improvisational collective, shatters genre barriers in this marvelous new session. At first glance, the instrumentation appears straightforward, but just a few moments into the first piece, /Ub, it becomes apparent that the form and content are anything but that. Conventions associated with the Jazz idiom, including definable chords and predictable rhythmic patterns, are effectively superceded by an impressive range of atmospheric effects and intervallic ideas. From the perceived abstractions emerges an order more profound than just soloist and rhythm section.
Years ago, the great composer and theorist George Russell said that in order to disregard chords one needs something very convincing to put in their place.  In many ways the performances here represent a 21st century view of Russellts views, to the extent that they challenge notions of tonality.  To get the most out of this advanced music, listeners should watch for the overall effect of the contrasting forms presented, instead of a catchy melody or /tune.

Ermes Rosina, www.allaboutjazz.com, 2001
La Francia è, attualmente, grazie agli sforzi di musicisti e di associazioni private, uno dei paesi più attivi nell'ambito delle musiche che con eccesso di genericità si definiscono "creative". Per quanto non sempre le proposte musicali siano di qualità eccellente, vale comunque la pena di menzionare alcune fra le produzioni discografiche più significative.
Hubbub è un ensemble che riunisce musicisti provenienti dai gruppi Schams e Chamaeleo Vulgaris e dall'associazione parigina Klac-Sons. Per i tipi della svizzera For4ears Frédéric Blondy (per leggere la recensione del suo CD-R "Parabase" clicca qui), Bertrand Denzler, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Jean-Sébastien Mariage ed Edward Perraud creano, avvalendosi di una strumentazione tradizionale (rispettivamente piano, sax tenore, sax contralto, chitarra elettrica e batteria) due lunghe suites improvvisate, caratterizzate da graduali cambiamenti dinamici e non banali soluzioni timbriche.
Per quanto la musica riesca alquanto sfilacciata sulla lunga distanza, mediando intelligentemente fra ordine e caos, fra astrazione e materismo, in perpetua sospensione fra decostruzione e direzionalità, il gruppo fornisce una buona prova di attenzione e ascolto collettivi.

Nick Cain, www.info.net.nz/opprobrium, 2001
HUBBUB "UB/ABU"
BRESCHAND/DONEDA/ZBINDEN "L'Intense"
Ears label. Hubbub is a quintet of Paris-based improvisers - I recognise Jean-Luc Guionnet (alto, soprano, "jaleika"), but not Frederic Blondy (piano), Bernhard Denzler (tenor), Jean-Sebastien Mariage (guitar), or Edward Perraud (perc). As a group they seem very determined to demonstrate that they've named themselves appropriately. The CD booklet is filled with dictionary definitions of the word "hubbub", and much of the music is, well, a hubbub, a drifting, mood-shifting multi-voiced babble, memorably characterised by bewilderingly pointillist patchworks of acoustic instrumental sounds deflecting, careening and bouncing off one another. Much of the playing strongly evinces individual sublimation to a pre-agreed collective remit, but some conflict can be detected - the individual voices seem to be continually reassessing the extent to which they're willing to confine themselves within the collective aesthetic. Often two of the musicians will lock into synch with each other, while the others try skirt around and in between them - as though attempting to distract them - until they disperse and everyone regroups; a listening strategy one's brain inevitably mimics in order to make sense of such heavily detailed, nuanced music.

Théo Jarrier, Jazzman, décembre 2001
Hubbub un quintette de défricheurs
Parfois des formations légendaires (re)constituées de musiciens chevronnés donnent l'impression d'un retour de la free music vers le passé. Pourtant, sous nos yeux, l'improvisation libre ne cesse de se développer à travers des pratiques renouvelées. Ces dix dernières années, on a assisté à l'éclosion d'une audacieuse scène européenne qui n'hésite pas à tenter des combinaisons inédites entre acoustique et électronique. Certaines programmations en France, comme celle des Instants Chavirés à Montreuil ou du CCAM à Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, en témoignent. Avec Hubbub, par exemple. Né de rencontres hybrides, le quintettte est composé de Frédéric Blondy (piano), Bertrand Denzler (saxophone ténor), Jean-Luc Guionnet (saxophone Alto), Jean-Sébastien Mariage (guitare électrique) et Edward Perraud (batterie et percussions). Tous membres d'autres groupes particulièrement passionnant et actifs: Schams, Chamaeleo Vulgaris ou Klac-sons. Découverte pour la première fois en public en mars 2000 à Paris, cette jeune formation attire notre attention en participant à une rencontre orchestrale autour de Otomo Yoshihide, Bob Ostertag, Pascal Battus, Agnès Palier et Stéphane Rives. C'est grâce aux nombreuses rencontres - situations que permet cette discipline - que c'est musiciens abandonnent les préjugés et les mécanismes séletifs, y compris les clichés qu'impose parfois l'improvisation. L'une des forces d'Hubbub réside dans le fait que les membres qui le composent se croisent sans cesse dans différents contextes et pour certains d'entre eux, travaillent depuis quelques années en duo : Guionnet et Perraud ou Denzler et Mariage. Son récent enregistrement sur le label suisse For4ears l'atteste. Hubbub témoigne d'une génération qui éprouve la nécessité de se préter de plus en plus à l'improvisation libre pour explorer et défricher toujours.