Christian Lavigne


Flowing (Dymusic 109)
Christian Lavigne Trio : Lavigne (p), Michel Altier (cb), Eric Bretheau (dm). Pernes-les-Fontaines - 13/14 april 1999

JAZZMAN (June 2000)
Christian Lavigne is one of those musicians who don't publicise themselves but make their own waypatiently and cleverly. Recorded last year at the famous studios of "La Buissonne" (Vaucluse, France), this new album presents the pianist performing in trio with Michel Altier (accoustic bass) and Eric Bretheau (drums), with an excitingly original repertoire. The mood of pieces like "Embruns et en bleu" or the explosive "Zarblues", is delightful and the retake of Ornette Coleman's "Bird Food"(with a beautiful performance by Eric Bretheau) is rather seducing. The references to Bill Evans (as in "Ritournelle" where Michel Altier stars) are not too heavy and the pianist knows how to display of his skills throughout the session ... A beautiful record.
Arnaud Merlin

JAZZ MAGAZINE (October2000)
DISQUE D'EMOI He had appeared with Cossi Anatz among Michel Marre, Michel Benita, Jean-Marc Padovani, Rene Nan... but he decided to stay in his country of Occitania. And it will ave taken him no less than thirteen years to record a new album under his name, following "Monmaneki", recorded with Henri Texier and Jacques Mahieux. This new record is arranged with the precise balance of an isosceles triangle. Once the angles soften into a vaster space created by well-placed echoes, the art of the trio is celebrated, an art that is present in several different aspects : from the soothing ballad ("Il va bientôt faire nuit") to the musical volume of "Embruns et en bleu", peppered with a great series of waving left-hand chords, where Lavigne drops the occasional blues line, moulded in the style of Monk. Lavigne likes a moderate tempo, perfect for a certain kind of self expression. As a southern pianist in the like of a Tete Montoliu, an Enrico Pieranunzi, or even a Franco d'Andrea, he revels in with passages of spicy notes. With this album, however, the balance is very distinct, due to the equidistant poles of the trio. If you need another characteristic, his concern for scrutiny, melodic purity and for notes or phrases simply revealed, stares you in the face. A reference, after all: "Se canto" is the song of the Gascon soul to which the pianist from Meze has put his whole heart. A breath of the South wind or perhaps of southern French Jazz, in the sense in which Camus, whilst referring to Rene Char, spoke of a "Southern way of thinking".
Robert Latxague

MIDI LIBRE (May 2000)
C. Lavigne, the next step Christian Lavigne is renowned and recognized on the regional scene as an excellent pianist. And his compositions show talent, too. In trio with the bassist Michel Altier and the drummer Eric Brethau he has just released a new record, titled "Flowing", which was presented at the JAM in Montpellier a few weeks ago. Christian Lavigne is of every musical innovation and every jazz epoch. No doubt he has been heard of as boldly "avant-garde". Here one will enjoy a blissful performance of perfect lyricism.
Michel Arcens

Christian Lavigne (p), Jean-Luc Ponthieux (b), Jacques Mahieux (dm), Sceaux, Les Gémeaux, 6 Février "What he calls composition is his own, what he calls standard has been written by somebody else" comments Jacques Mahieux after Lavigne has announced the first three or four pieces. A flash of wit that hints at the originality of a pianist who masters his repertoire to an extent that the themes can be easily grasped and are more felt than recognized. Doubtless a common phenomenon when dealing with a great musician; and Lavigne is a great musician. Within this formation he gives his two companions plenty of leeway; the pianist generally marks the field of the theme with broad two-handed chords: this way we hear not only a melodic phrase but also a harmonic backup that is already of the art of variation. Besides he completes the musical landscape in quick strokes with a rhythmic precision that brings the three musicians as close as possible to the rhythm of pulsation. Their music is thus of great depth and rich rhythmic mobility always avoiding, however, all heaviness; the fluency that pleasingly emerges from this meeting between North and South transmits a delightful energy that is irresistible to the listener.
Denis Martin

Christian Lavigne (p), Henri Texier (cb), Jacques Mahieux (dm). Montpellier - 29/30 avril 85 Vent du Sud VS 104 - 52ème Rue
JAZZ HOT : FIVE SPOT With this first album, a record longed for by his admirers, (Paul Bley among them), Lavigne proves to be an original composer with pieces like "Rajal del Gorp", "Lueurs" or "Forets". His very inventive version of "Stella by starlight" is a success... "Palabres", recorded solo, leaves us eager to hear him alone with his piano. P. de C. Transformed trial....This excellent pianist, alongside important instrumental resources, has a sure gift for composition and structure. Every piece creates its unique atmosphere up to "Lueurs" which is a great success... Lavigne asserts himself as a new voice of French contemporary piano. A. M. It is certain, all the more considering he has got the ideas, the skills and the calibre of a leader often/taken to bring in his rhythm: we discover an interesting and versatile composer who is all the same a sure instrumentalist, now and then recalling the Corea of the late sixties.
P. B.

A hefty pianist, composing a sane music, full of life and strength. Arounded by acolytes of the same kind of spirit, it often feels like happiness to the listener.
Jean Wagner

This album presents a very complete palette of Christian Lavigne's ability, and it is his flaire for subtly chiseled harmonies that marks the prime quality of his playing. Beautiful tones touched with a style moving between confidence and discretion, that supports the richly composed chords. The pace of the melody is often held back, adding a relaxed atmosphere to the whole album.
Maurice Gourgues