Melonious Quartet - En Forme de Poire: A Mandolin Tribute to Eric Satie
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cd cover Melonious Quartet
En Forme de Poire: A Mandolin Tribute to Eric Satie
Oriente Musik (

Four mandolins en forme de poire - in the shape of a pear (or in idiomatic French, "in the shape of a moron"), peppered with surreal quotes from the literary Satie ("The piano, like money, is only pleasant to those who put their hands on it"; "What do you prefer, music or sausages?"; "My dream is to be played everywhere, not only at the opera"; "I was born very young in a very old time"; "I am called Erik Satie, just like everybody else"), with a twangy take on Monk's "Misterioso" mixed in, hence the group's name (a.k.a. Mandolin Liberation Front).
In fact, two mandolins, an alto mandolin, a mandocello and miscellaneously injected found sounds, Satie transcribed if not transformed, led by Patrick Vaillant (who's worked with Riccardo Tesi, Gianluigi Trovesi, Kepa Junkera, Luis Delgado, Mike Marshall). It might be Satie, but the Quartet's cheeky approach to its inspiration (not to mention its collective technical mastery and discipline) expands upon the irreverent sonic spirit that animated the composer. Calling to mind another Satie citation ("the tango is the dance of the devil"), this idiosyncratic outing closes rather pointedly with an evocative "Le Tango (Perp�tuel)." An uncredited Marcel Duchamp sits in, and Satie will never be (indeed, probably never was) the same. - Michael Stone

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