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Fantazio at Cabaret Sauvage

Fantazio Text: Brendan Seibel
Photo: Thierry Mezerette

Fusion is a tainted term, conjuring images of long-haired jazz dilettantes bopping to flaccid grooves of their own manufacture. Fantazio's blending of forms succeeds by virtue of absorption. Raw ingredients enter through the ears, the eyes and pores, mixing in a collection of brain cells so rare they are mythical. What transmits from this sonorous stew is not a frozen dinner of influences but a pure distillation of inspired genius.

Allusions to jazz stem from the fretwork of Fantazio's contrabass, but the essence shines through in less overt ways. His ensemble brings disparate instruments to the stage, channeling regions of the earth through music: the Balkans in Tuba; Eastern Europe through the saxophone; the Carpathians represented by violin; the road less traveled echoing in Fantazio's campfire singing. Let loose to fly to the four corners, this melange is gently tempered and formed into a cohesive whole without artifice or affectation.

The magical element of improvisation relies on an ability to engage with utter abandon, wild curiosity, and sheer delight. Fantazio and company eat, sleep and breathe creation. They become storytellers, lurking across the stage like streetwise hobos. They appear at gallery openings, squats, at political protests.  They are, to a member, dedicated to the practice of life as art. The commitment shines through each performance like a brilliant ray of hope piercing the drab world of plastic pop princesses and angry aluminum alt-rockers.

Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 7.30pm
Le Cabaret Sauvage
Parc de la Villette
Pedestraian access par le 59 bd Mac Donald
Mº Porte de la Villette
Tickets €18/€15 (hors frais de locations)

Bonapart Paris apartments

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