All Set

All Set - Rogue Arts


Stéphane Payen: straight alto saxophone, composition (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) 
Ingrid Laubrock: tenor saxophone (composition 2, 4, 6, 8) 
Chris Tordini: double bass 
Tom Rainey: drums 

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Recording track list

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Spriggan (6:04) 
The Chant (7:24) 
Out of Thin Air (6:31) 
Proportions (6:36) 
Evaporating Dew (5:10) 
Banda Linda (4:21) 
Knock Whack (4:41) (listen)
Dice (1:19) 
from the liner notes by Peter Margasak 

The path toward All Set began nearly two decades ago when saxophonists Stéphane Payen and Ingrid Laubrock first met in London in 2002. The Parisian was visiting the city, leading a workshop through an exchange between the collectives each musician was a part of at the time—Payen with HASK, Laubrock with F-IRE. Payen stayed at Laubrock’s apartment over the weeklong residency, and they immediately hit it off, working on music during the day and talking about it in the evenings. They remained in touch and kept tabs on each other’s progress, but it wouldn’t be until 2019 that they would actually play together again. 

Payen proposed a project built around the Milton Babbitt composition “All Set,” which received its premiere in 1957 at the Festival of Creative Arts at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, an event launched by Leonard Bernstein in 1952. Babbitt’s through-composed piece sought to apply serialism to jazz instrumentation and was performed by a small orchestra that included Bill Evans on piano. Payen envisioned a medium-sized ensemble reprising “All Set,” with he and Laubrock writing a group of pieces for the same instrumentation. While the endeavor hasn’t yet materialized, the discussions did bring the saxophonists back together, writing a number of stripped-down original pieces using Babbitt’s pitch array and 12-tone structures. In May of 2019 Laubrock, bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Tom Rainey traveled to France, rehearsing and performing four concerts before convening in La Buissone to record the nine sparkling pieces heard on the quartet’s debut album, naming itself after the Babbitt piece. 


All Set: release info

Rogue Arts

Recorded by Nicolas Baillard (assistant Ella Mundinger) on May 12th and 13th 2019 at Studio La Buissone, Pernes-les-Fontaines, France 

Mixing and mastering: Sylvain Thévenard 
Liner notes: Franpi Barriaux, Peter Margasak 
Photograph: RogueArt 
Cover design: Max Schoendorff 
Cover realization: David Bourguignon 
Executive producer: Michel Dorbon