21.11 - 22:00, Sounds
Fabrice Alleman “The Return of the One Shot Band”
Who is… Fabrice Alleman?
Whilst everything seemed set for a classical career, Fabrice Alleman (1967) takes another route and joins the jazz section at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. He graduates with honours and further explores this musical genre in greater depth and with success at the Manhattan School of Music.
Jazz becomes his native language. This doesn’t prevent him from mastering other genres such as rock, pop, funk and even world music. Not surprisingly, he becomes a much sought-after musician in a wide range of circles. His success is obviously not unrelated to the fact that he plays both tenor and soprano saxophone but also the alto saxophone, the clarinet and the flute.
Over the years, he hits the stage with a great many (large) formations such as Sax No End, Jambangle, Act Big Band, Ten-Tamarre, Michel Herr Nonet, the Beatles tribute “Jazz Me Do”, Brussels Jazz Orchestra and Oratorio Ishango.
In addition, he forms his own bands like the duo with Paolo Loveri and a quartet in varying line-ups, the most recent of which includes Nathalie Loriers, Reggie Washington, Lionel Beuvens and guest guitarist Lorenzo Di Maio. The CD ‘Obviously’ (2013) proved highly successful.
Furthermore, he still gets hired as backing musician for other artists. So, for instance, Marc Moulin at the time requested his services for ‘I Am You’ and ‘Entertainment’. His most recent contribution is to be heard on young pianist Jérémy Dumont’s debut album, ‘Resurrection’.
We are obviously looking forward to the upcoming concert in the Sounds, entitled “The Return of the One Shot Band”. In the nineties, Alleman formed the One Shot Band with, amongst others, violinist Jean-Pierre Catoul. The intention at the time was to give a single concert. Eventually, the group appeared on stage for another six concerts and even recorded an album which unfortunately has never been released. Shortly thereafter, Catoul dies in a car accident. This is how the myth surrounding the One Shot Band comes into being, since there was no way Alleman would carry on with the band without Catoul. He is now ready for a fresh start alongside Jozef Dumoulin, Fred Jacquemin and Benoit Vanderstraeten. Will it be a single concert or not? Only time will tell.
... your favourite spot in Brussels?
I have been living in the southern part of Brussels for some ten years now. It is an ideal location for cycling. The surrounding area is very green between Uccle and Forest and further east in Watermael-Boitsfort and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. What has always struck me during my bike rides is the amazing number of small mills which are still standing even today. It is quite unique. At only a five-minute drive from the city centre, you are cycling in the middle of the countryside. I guess, Brussels must be pretty much the only European city where you have such a unique blend between city and countryside. I need to go out cycling in order to maintain a healthy balance, both mentally and physically. Another passion of mine is photography which I thoroughly enjoy.
… the last CD or album you bought for yourself?
I regularly buy new stuff which I sometimes use in my classes at the conservatory, or for my own personal enjoyment. As far as the latter category is concerned, I purchased ‘Confident MF Playin’ Tunes’ by Branford Marsalis: a rare musical find with at least four perfect pieces. These pieces are steeped in tradition and yet, they sound incredibly modern in terms of approach, structure and interaction. For me, that is what jazz should sound like: tradition paired with a certain degree of modernism. This is also something I try to achieve in my work.
… your fondest memory of a recent concert?
I go to concerts all the time. So, it’s difficult to single out just one concert which I found outstanding. But since you ask, I will pick the first twenty minutes of Kenny Garrett’s performance during Brosella in 2014. I was standing backstage with Reggie Washington, no more than five meters away from the band. It was simply amazing. What followed after these first twenty minutes however did not impress me as much. But then again, that is the way he performs. First, he snags the audience’s attention, hook, line and sinker and then, what follows somewhat tapers off. I have already discussed it with him. It is of course a matter of personal choice.
… your favourite quote of the moment?
“The future is now”. Especially in the sense that you constantly work on what is coming, keeping in mind what you have done before. This is true in your personal life and even more so when you are a musician. When you are performing on stage, you always think of the following note, keeping in mind all the ones you have played before, whether you are improvising or not. That’s one of the many rules in jazz anyway.