Title:3/4 d’once
(P) 2017
élu - Citizen Jazz
Such is the music of Pulcinella: traditional and avant-garde, wild and domesticated, precise and extravagant, it achieves a kind of union of opposites, and that is doubtless what makes is seem so vivacious.

Pascal Rozat (Jazz Magazine)

01. TPDC
02. Elle aimait l’été / She liked summer
03. Melchizedec
04. 3/4 d’once / Three quarters of an ounce
05. Devant ta porte / Outside your door
06. Les paris sont ouverts / All bets are off
07. Mélatonine / Melatonin
08. La fille de l’ombre / Shadow girl

 Total time: 48:52
Ferdinand Doumerc – saxophone, flute
Florian Demonsant – accordion
Jean-Marc Serpin – double bass
Pierre Pollet – drums
Production notes:
All compositions by Ferdinand Doumerc, except track 1 by Florian Demonsant
Arrangements by Pulcinella, with the participation of Sylvain Rifflet
Ferdinand Doumerc plays Vandoren reeds
Recorded at BMC’s Concert Hall on 4-6 January, 2017
Recorded and mixed by Viktor Szabó
Artwork: László Huszár / Greenroom

Produced by László Gőz
Label manager: Tamás Bognár

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Click on the image for higher resolution!THREE-QUARTERS OF AN OUNCE

I won’t do you the injustice of reminding you that Pulcinella is a character from the Italian commedia dell’arte, an oafish servant who, apparently coarse and brutish, often has some trick up his sleeve. To play comedy: the members of this aptly- named quartet from Toulouse understand one another wonderfully, staging their compositions as sketches by turns farcical, fantastic, or moving, with enigmatic, elliptical or suggestive titles which enable each listener to imagine their own mini-story. The rhythm of the piece might well hectic, but one senses that its inspiration derives as much from the prolixity of Pulcinella as from the melancholy of a Pierrot lunaire.

PulcinellaThe show begins with TPDC, a devilish cavalcade on an infernal Balkan ostinato in 5/8, where Florian Demonsant on accordion leads the dance. But then the first feminine personality appears with She liked summer with a minimalist theme that unfurls over a strange, sensual background. The febrile saxophone of Ferdinand Doumerc seems to want to court the beautiful woman, launching increasingly desperate appeals to her, before embarking on a coda without end... Meanwhile, somewhat unexpectedly the Biblical figure of the highly respectable Melchizedec emerges, the “king of Salem” and “priest of the Most High” according to Genesis. Unless the delirious treatment of the theme, and the almost disco rhythms condensed by the drummer Pierre Pollet refer rather to the melchizedec, a bottle with a capacity of thirty liters used in certain bacchanals? Who knows... In any case, we can be sure that Three-quarters of an ounce (or 21 grams) is the weight of the human soul leaving the body at the moment of death, at least according to the theory established by Duncan MacDougall, who practiced as a doctor, in the year of our Lord 1907. After an opening of ethereal lightness, the course of time seems to have halted for the duration of the bass solo by Jean-Marc Serpin, before the music gradually gathers power until it reaches a climax, then returns to its initial weightlessness.

After the entracte, the gently nostalgic waltz of Outside your door and its swaying tempo provide less dramatic lighting for the second act. With All bets are off (for the improvisation, I assume), Pulcinella reveals its most spontaneous side, which culminates in a paroxysm with free accents. After all these feelings, it’s not surprising that our neurons begin to succumb to Melatonin, the sleep hormone... Lethargic, haunted by the spectre of an obsessive rhythmic motif in 5/4, the world of dreams seems rather agitated tonight, by the light of the full moon. Finally the Shadow girl will tiptoe across the stage, plunged into darkness, before calm is restored. Curtain!

Such is the music of Pulcinella: traditional and avant-garde, wild and domesticated, precise and extravagant, it achieves a kind of union of opposites, and that is doubtless what makes is seem so vivacious.

Pascal Rozat (Jazz Magazine)


Formed in 2004 in Toulouse, Pulcinella has given almost 500 concerts. The quartet, first and foremost a live group, has played much in France, particularly in renowned festivals such as Jazz in Marciac, Uzeste Musical, Jazz sous les Pommiers, Nancy Jazz Pulsations, les Rendez-vous de l’Erdre, le festival Radio France etc. While active on the local scene they have also visited twenty or so countries, playing the main square in Dushanbe (Tajikistan), travelling round Ukraine in two epic tours, participating in prestigious festivals (London Jazz Festival, Jazzwerkstatt in Bern, Varna Jazz Festival in Bulgaria, Saint-Louis Jazz Festival in Senegal), celebrating 1000 years of the city of Hanoi and playing and recording several times in Hungary (since 2008).

Pulcinella has enjoyed the support of several networks: Discovery by the Federation of Jazz Gigs in 2005, selection Jazz Migration 2007, selection Chaînon manquant in 2008, selection Jazz Primeurs by Cultures France in 2009, selection 2012/2013 of Jeunesses Musicales de France.

As well as its work with other musicians (Emile Parisien, Leila Martial, Andreas Schaerer, Troyka, Patrick Vaillant, Daniel Casimir etc.), the group is enthusiastic about encounters with the other arts. Thus it has produced music for stage works, for cinema concerts, it has collaborated with dancers, provided a backdrop for text readings, accompanied circus performances etc.

Apart from its previous four albums as a quartet, the group has recorded an “hommage” to the French singer Claude Nougaro with Hervé Suhubiette. It has also released a CD with the Hungarian trio Dzsindzsa (Gábor Weisz, Hunor Szabó, Ernő Hock) for BMC in 2009 (Panthers’ play).

Thanks to Matthieu Cardon, Clara Mouchès, les Productions du Vendredi, Anne-Claire Dastugue, Edouard Leborne. Thanks to Jacques Masliah, Fabrice Ferries, Paul Patus, to Bolegason, to Petite Pierre, Pompon, Viola Foglia, Pascal Rozat, Gábor Weisz, Christoph Schäfer, SYOS, our families, Christelle, Floriane, Paule and our existing and future children! Thanks to Sylvain Rifflet.

Special thanks to Tamás Bognár, György Wallner, Viktor Szabó, Krisztina Csendes, all the team at BMC and the French Institute in Budapest.