Joelle_Leandre.jpgPhoto: Peter Gannushkin /

Joëlle Léandre Discography. A complete sourcebook about the extraordinary French doublebass player and composer written by Francesco Martinelli.Pisa 2002, bandecchi & vivaldi editore, 159 pages, black and white photographs ISBN: 88-8341-015-7

Joëlle Léandre (born September 12, 1951 in Aix-en-Provence, France) is a double bassist, vocalist, and composer active in new music and free improvisation.

Francesco Martinelli has published several books about contemporary improvising musicians and is contributing regularly to avantgarde music magazines.

After discographies about Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton and Mario Schiano, the book on Joëlle Léandre is the fourth in a series of detailed listings of recordings. Subtitle of the book is “A complete sourcebook” , and thus one finds excerpts from reviews, interviews, essays and articles, but also writings by Joëlle Léandre as well as a photo gallery.


Léandre is one of the foremost European double bass players performing somewhere between free jazz and free improvisation in a genre sometimes called “European free improvisation”. Her scope is realized when reading the names of musicians she played with and recorded with: Maggie Nichols, Lindsay Cooper, Lol Coxhill, Tony Coe, Derek Bailey, Irène Schweizer, George Lewis, Peter Kowald, Jon Rose, Anthony Braxton, Carlos Zingara, Eric Watson, Rüdiger Carl, Mario Schiano, Lauren Newton, Georg Graewe, Fredy Studer, William Parker, Sebi Tramontana and so many others, in between many solo projects.

Her playing needs ears and records, Martinelli’s book provides the information about those recorded documents, background on her musical concept as well as critical reflections. The book also contains an extensive bibliography and is well indexed (musicians’ names as well as music titles).

text by JazzInstitut Darmstadt / Wolfram Knauer

Selected Joëlle Léandre recordings