Seen on July 2, 2016 @ National Arts Festival, Grahamstown

One of the festival’s musical highlights for me was Mille/Chaussé. From the streets of Paris they took us to the clubs in Argentina with a flair and a grandiose wow factor. Daniel Mille’s virtuoso tango rendering à la Astor Piazolla is played with passion and conviction while Stéphane Chausse adds a returning chorus on his bass clarinet. The talented craftmanship of the two charming Frenchmen is obvious. With  eyes closed they roam along  the streets of Paris opening the full register of their instruments. Accordeon and clarinet are not a very common combination in the world of jazz. But what happens in this intimate set is magical. Mille/Chausse says a thousand things and give each other space to speak volumes. Playful and passionate, lyrical and enchanted we are intrigued.

The music is robust, intimate, surprising, excellent and testifies to a craft that has been honed over the years. Their compositions remind of Piazolla and Sydney Bechett, tangos and chanson, improvizing and presenting their finest solos.

It is a concert that may last forever. When the duo is called back for the encore, they have invited a South African soprano to join them. Her opera voice, scatting and vocal strenght make for a very special finale of an already superb concert.  Bravo!

Photography: CuePix/Ivan Blazic – National Arts Festival 2016