Sophie Alour

Sophie Alour

Born in 1974, Sophie Alour learned the saxophone as a self-taught musician, after studying the clarinet at the Quimper School of Music. It is on stage, in vivo, that she learnt jazz and very quickly, in 2000, she joined the big band Le Vintage Orchestra, which brings together the finest musicians of her generation. In the same year, she created a sextet with Stéphane Belmondo and joined Christophe Dal Sasso's big band who recorded the album Ouverture (Nocturne).

A new stage was reached when Rhoda Scott hired her in 2004 to form her quartet. That same year she played in Wynton Marsalis's big band and took part in Aldo Romano's project. In 2005, she recorded her first album Insulaire (Nocturne), which was hailed by the critics. She is invited to participate in several recordings and can be found on Alexandre SaadaBe where you are or Panic circus records as well as on the album of Rhoda Scott's Lady quartet.

As a leader, she released her second album in 2007 Uncaged (Nocturne) which brings together Laurent Coq on fender rhodes, Yoni Zelnik on double bass and Karl Jannuska on drums and for which she lured guitarist Sébastien Martel from the rock scene. The public is as enthusiastic as the critics (the emotional records Jazzmag, Choc Jazzman and ffff Télérama) and she was awarded the Django d'or 2007 for Young Talent. During 2 years, she gives dozens of concerts with this formation, in France and abroad (East Africa and Central America), re-exploring her repertoire, deconstructing it, looking for its limits, to come back resourced towards Jazz and a new album, this time in trio, Opus 3 (Plus loin music, 2010) (Choc Jazzman, ffff Télérama and the So Jazz).

In 2011, she participates alongside prestigious musicians such as David El-Malek, Pierre de Bethmann or Frank Agulhon in the recording of Christophe Dal Sasso's new album Prétextes for the Bflat label. In June, she took part in Rhoda Scott's album recorded live on the main stage of the Vienna Festival.

In 2012, Sophie Alour signed to the "naïve" label and recorded her fourth album as a quintet, La géographie des rêves. An album with a dreamlike title, with original instrumentation and new in her career (Stéphan Caracci on vibraphone, Yoann Loustalot on trumpet and flugelhorn, Sophie Alour on bass clarinet, clarinet and tenor, Nicolas Moreaux and Frédéric Pasqua on drums), in which she continues her attempt to free herself from her self and the conventions of the genre and seeks more than ever to express a music freed from the formatting imposed by a consumerist society. She readily says that La géographie des rêves is a manifesto! It too will receive a warm and enthusiastic welcome and some will salute the composer and arranger for this album.

In 2014, Shaker, her fifth album, has been released by naïve. Fun, jubilation, the pleasure of disguise and disguise have presided over the birth of this record. It brings together original compositions from different periods of her life around this so particular sound of the trio sax, organ (Frédéric Nardin) and drums (Frédéric Pasqua). Some of them like Shaker or Joke were written for Rhoda Scott, they are a nod to the 60s, the pivotal years for the beginnings of funk (Jimmy Smith, lonnie Smith...). Others, on the contrary, are of a more rock style, they were conceived for a different instrumentation, bass trio, drums, sax or quartet with piano and find themselves diverted, magnified by this new orchestration and notably by the organ, overflowing colour, willingly screaming, with the allure of a modern dandy. This record, conducted with the drums beating, proves to be full of gaiety, self-mockery and references to the great jazz epics.

In 2015 we find Sophie Alour notably alongside Joe Lovano, Ambrose Akimusire or Bireli Lagrene for two concerts at the Paris Philharmonic and in Luxembourg, brought together by Eric Legnini in an All Stars in reference to Norman Granz. And we also find her in François Morel's show La vie, titre provisoire, for a colourful parenthesis, since she plays not only saxophones and flute, but also vibraphone and keyboards. In 2016, she participated in the recording of the record from this show for the Sony label. She also participates in the adventure of Alex Saada, who brings together 35 musicians at the Ferber studio for 4 hours of improvisation and who will give birth to the record We fee. Finally, we find her on Rhoda Scott's second album live at the Sunset alongside Julie Saury and Lisa Cat-Berro with guests Géraldine Laurent, Anne Pacéo and Julien Alour. The album received a warm welcome.

In 2018, his sixth album, Time For Love, will be released, bringing together Stéphane Belmondo, Glenn Ferris, David El Malek, André Ceccarelli, Alain Jean-Marie, Sylvain Romano, Rhoda Scott, Laurent Coq and the classical quintet Allegria around timeless standards and melodies sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Shirley Horn. Sophie Alour is nominated in the category "Artist of the Year" for this record and is elected "Spedidam generation". The same year she is invited to join Leon Parker's quartet alongside bassist Or Bareket and Frédéric Nardin on piano.

She plays a Mark VI tenor saxophone and a Super Action 80 Serie II soprano saxophone.


Photo credit : Sylvain Gripoix