Kowald, Charuest, Ratté Montréal: 1985 LP
Wonderful long lost, high energy free jazz trio cooking on all burners here with Yves Charuest - saxophone alto/alto saxophone, Michel Ratté.- batterie/drums, piano (Tout paradis n’est pas perdu), and Peter Kowald - contrebasse/double bass.
'Michel Ratté and I were playing together for five years in different projects, most notably with our group I Like Jazz (1984-86) and in a duo already for two years. Completing a six-month stay in New York and after having been presented in Montréal in December 1984 with Peter Brötzmann and Andrew Cyrille, Peter Kowald asked Montréal producer Patrick Darby (Traquen’art) to organize a short stay in town to meet new musicians before his return to Germany.
One night in June, Peter came to hear me playing in a performance of improvised music and dance in Saint-Henri and asked me if I would play in duo with him in a series he booked with Darby’s help, which I did. As he told me he was here to meet new musicians, I invited him to play with Michel Ratté and myself in our studio. From this first private session on, Peter was very enthusiastic about our intricate and dynamic playing and he suggested to do a recording session before he left Montréal for a possible release.
With barely a week left, we managed to play a few times in our studio and to present the trio live for two nights at the bar Le Bruit Court (June 29–30), the second night playing four sets—two sets before and two sets after seeing Cecil Taylor at Théâtre StDenis! Those same days, we went to Studio Victor on the morning of the 29th for a recording session that was aborted for technical matters and that we were able to “transpose” in extremis the day after (30th) at Silent Sound Studio… with two days left before Peter’s departure. The final selection made and mixed on July 1st, Peter could finally leave with the tape and… Michel Ratté and me to play one set in trio and one set in quartet with Joe Morris at Boston Mobius Theater.
We stayed in touch with the intention to release the album—which for some reason never happened—and I then played with the Peter Kowald Trio with Louis Moholo, which toured Europe (Germany, Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, Hungary, Finland) from 1986 to 1990 and played twice in New York (Knitting Factory) with Michel Ratté in 1988 and 1990.
Upon the request from Éric Normand, I managed to retrieve the only usable physical copy of that recording, a cassette that we were able to transfer. So some thirty-seven years later, here comes this release, witness of a not totally improbable and not entirely foreseeable musical encounter.'
Yves Charuest, Montréal, March 2022