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James Manheim
AllMusic.com, November 2011

If you get to thinking there’s nothing new under the sun, try this release by French serpent player Michel Godard. (And if the serpent is new to you, visit www.serpentwebsite.com.) Recordings featuring the serpent are rare enough anyhow, and this one inhabits a whole new universe. …this is an album that combines early Baroque music and jazz in an experimental manner. Godard adds serpent lines to the Monteverdi pieces and to the other works on the album, all instrumental, which derive from Monteverdi in not very obvious ways… The other improvising musicians are saxophonist Gavino Murgia (who in addition to his usual way of playing the horn channels vocalizations through it) and bassist Steve Swallow, best known for his collaborations with jazz pianist Carla Bley. Their Baroque counterparts are singer Guillemette Laurens, who plays it straight and sounds fine in the Monteverdi, violinist Fanny Paccoud, and theorbo player Bruno Helstroffer. If you’re having trouble imagining what this is like, that’s not surprising; the only recourse is to give this brilliantly original music a try. Read complete review





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