Clover is a new project, resulting from a long friendship, an intense collective experience and also a desire to play pure, refined music.
After 20 years of close artistic and personal collaboration already put into action by the creation of the Yolk Label and a number of other joint projects, the three friends Alban Darche, Sebastien Boisseau and Jean-Louis Pommier realize here another long-held dream to make, from this trio of artistic directors, record-label founders, and creators of projects, a true musical meeting place.
Two generations met in the mid 90’s: Jean-Louis Pommier already had a fine background, being a first-rate trombonist, playing with Patrice Caratini’s Onzetet, Eddy Louiss's Multicolor Feeling, and La bande à (Denis) Badault ; while Alban Darche and Sébastien Boisseau (both born in 1974) were finishing their studies with J-F Jenny-Clarke, and forming their own bands (Triade, Kaput-K, Jazzophone, The Cube…). They where both immediatly recognized by their peers and awarded at the la Defense and Avignon contests.
In 2000, the three musicians launched themselves as a trio of artistic directors. They lived, however, in three different towns: Tours, Le Mans and Nantes. They created Yolk at the time when the music industry was about to herald the death of CD. But these three combined their own experiences and their undiminished energies with a voracious appetite for music that mixes the historical ingredients of straight-ahead jazz with modern trends and sounds. They also acknowledged the important contribution of labels in the evolution of the music that they love: Blue Note, Impulse, ECM, Label Bleu, JMT/Winter & Winter to name a few of the labels.
Today, when you look back over the years at the records released (80 to date!) Yolk’s image is reflected in the artistic work of its founders, its catalogue feeding on their dynamism and the multiplicity of their experiences.
Very early in his career, Alban Darche turned towards M-base rhythmic concepts. He invited Tim Berne, Julien Lourau and Marc Ducret to join his bands. He recorded the music of Geoffroy Tamisier with Kenny Wheeler and Baptiste Trotignon.
He now combines a wide range of talents, mixing jazz with pop, rock, opera, cinema, rap and slam, contemporary and chamber music.
He switches mode from dance to musical theater and has worked with Philippe Katerine, Thomas De Pourquery, Jeanne Added, Gabor Gado, theatre director Sylvain Maurice, choreographer Nasser Martin-Gousset and writer Pierre Bordage… The National Jazz Orchestra commissioned him to create a programme in homage to Billie Holiday. In twenty years Alban Darche has released more than thirty albums under his own name, most of them on Yolk!
The National Jazz Orchestra is a musical institution that Jean-Louis Pommier knows well from having played in the repertoire of three directors: Denis Badault, Claude Barthélémy and Franck Tortiller. He balanced these big-band activities with smaller bands. In his own group, Qüntêt he composed and collaborated with Alban Darche, Médéric Collignon and Rémi Sciuto. He created LPT3 with François Thuillier and Christophe Lavergne; the trio was part of Marciac Jazz Festival’s annual creations for eight consecutive years, inviting Louis Sclavis, Michel Marre, Andy Emler, Franck Tortiller and Darche. Then Pommier decided to write his own lyrics and invited Minneapolis rapper Desdamona (in Mots Croisés, Qüntêt's third album). His current band Brass Danse Orchestra is an ode to dance music, with Geoffroy Tamiser, François Thuillier, and accordionist Didier Ithursarry.
Sebastien Boisseau brought his own contacts to the Yolk table. For ten years he partnered Daniel Humair in the group Baby Boom, following the path that J-F Jenny-Clarck had trodden before him. Meetings and collaborations swiftly followed : Martial Solal, François Jeanneau, Marc Ducret, Louis Sclavis, Gabor Gado, Uri Caine, Dave Liebman, Jim Black, producer Philippe Ghielmetti… He remains very connected to his generation (Manu Codja, Christophe Monniot, Régis Huby, Sylvain Rifflet…) He founded his duo Wood with Matthieu Donarier and more recently the trio Orbit with Stephan Oliva and Tom Rainey. He travels widely in Europe, playing with a wide range of bands: in Belgium partnering with Laurent Blondiau, Jozef Dumoulin, Manu Hermia and Teun Verbruggen; in Finland with Mikko Innanen, Mika Kalio and Kari Ikonen; in Germany with Joachim Kühn and Christian Lillinger, Hans Lüdermann and Dejan Terzic; with the Englishman Tom Arthurs and finally in Hungary, where he appears on more than twenty albums released by BMC.
So, all these years, Darche, Boisseau and Pommier were combining their individual paths with joint action. They recorded numerous French, European and American artists who found themselves in creative music. They based Yolk in the Nantes area and are « associated artists » with several venues and festivals: Blois National Theatre, Sartrouville Theatre, Banlieues Bleues, Jazz In Marciac, Europa Jazz festivals, Radio France Venue, Le Petit Faucheux, 6PAR4, Estran in Guidel…
They’ve been forging a strong link between those who produce the music and those who listen to it. With Yolk, they open a window on the liveliness of today’s jazz to the public. And they’re trying out a fair purchasing system that benefits the musicians.
This approach is recognized by many cultural institutions. Yolk was awarded a "Django d’or" for the entirety of its work in 2006, and again in 2019 received the « Victoire du Jazz » as label of the year.
The paths of these three musicians are still mingling today, as seen in their work with faithful collaborators like Matthieu Donarrier, John Hollenbeck, Christophe Lavergne, Jon Irabagon, Santiago Quintans, Samuel Blaser and Jozef Dumoulin.
Le Gros Cube led by Alban Darche, is a big band which brings the Yolk galaxy together, including Boisseau and Pommier. Le Gros Cube released 4 albums: la Martipontine, Polar Mood, The Pax (feat. Philippe Katerine), Queen Bishop. Their next album will be released in fall 2020, extending the Yolk galaxy with American contributors Loren Stillman, Jon Irabagon and John Fedshock.
Even though Le Gros Cube brought together Darche, Pommier and Darche for four albums, this is really the first time that they’ve joined with the CLOVER trio in such close musicality.
CLOVER announces its arrival on the scene with a resolutely poetic programme, a repertoire chiefly composed by the prolific Alban Darche but including two other pieces composed by Sebastien Boisseau and Jean-Louis Pommier - melodic pieces composed as frameworks ready to receive what poetry can be.