Denis Guivarc'h

Denis Guivarc'h

Longtemps dans l'ombre du charismatique Magic Malik, Denis Guivarc'h possède un phrasé rythmé, fluide et rebondissant. Il relie avec une grande facilité les systèmes harmoniques complexes, ce qui lui permet d'explorer tous les registres de son instrument.

For long in the shadow of the charismatic Magic Malik, Denis Guivarc’h could be one of the best kept secrets of saxophone. He shared with Magic Malik as well as Steve Coleman the oceans of the heady metrics and the complex harmonic formulas…

Denis Guivarc’h insists on what he thinks to be the two founder elements of the Colemanian identity : the “funk” base –or the permanent preoccupation of the groove– and the use of claves from all origins. He nevertheless is a free musician who really stands back to the model. Denis’ phrasing is rhythmical, flowing and bouncing. It links with great ease the complex harmonic systems, which allows him to explore all the registers of his instrument.

His instrument : the alto saxophone, exclusively and without any hesitation. Maybe because he first adored Coleman and Greg Osby, but above all because he likes very much to master this nervous instrument.  And this is not as easy as one may think.

After a first record with Eddie Louiss’ Multicolor Feeling in 1991, Denis Guivarc’h met Magik Malik and the Human Spirit. He followed him within the Magik Malik Orchestra. This was the beginning of a 10-year relationship, 5 records and numerous tours on the most prestigious stages: Marciac, North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Barbican Center London, Knitting Factory… At the same time, he led his activity of sideman, especially with Paco Sery, with whom he toured during one year.

He also regularly collaborated with such great musicians as Steve Coleman, Veras, Pierre de Bethmann, Bojan Z, Julien Lourau, Baptiste Trotignon, Louis Moutin, Jean Pierre Smadj, Minino Garay, Anga Diaz

Denis Guivarc’h made off with the record Exit (2006, Crystal Records), accompanied by Pierre de Bethmann, Jean-Luc Lehre and Mathieu Chazarenc.

2010 is the year of a new album: Reverse, in collaboration with Jean-Luc Lehr (electric bass) and Chander Sardjoe (drums).