As one might guess from this band's full name,
Théâtre du Chêne Noir d'Avignon, Chêne Noir
was a troupe of musicians and actors from the city
of Avignon in southeast France.
Avignon in fact is famous for its numerous
theater companies and the name refers
to both the performance group and
the ancient chapel where they are
Many similar groups -- such as
Principal Edwards Magic Theater, Grand Magic Circus,
and Floh de Cologne -- in the early '70s throughout
Europe blended rock with theater, but Chêne Noir,
more avant-garde than most, deserves special note
for its blend of improvised jazz and rock, spoken word,
dance, and theatrics.
Musician and writer Gerard Gelas founded Chêne Noir
in 1968 as a way to create ceremonies to release the full
potential of humanity and push the performers physically
and psychological to the limits.
Though occasionally the troupe put on material by Molière,
Alfred Jarry, and other more obscure French writers,
their main focus was on original material by Gelas and
the others in the group.
In 1971, the legendary experimental jazz label Futura
released the group's first album, Aurora,
recorded from a May 1971 performance of a piece
in their repertoire since September 1970.
released October 17, 2001
guitar (2,3,4), vocals, gongs and bongos (1,5)
direction, drums (2,3), gongs (4)
violoncello (1,4), trumpet (3), vocals
Jean Marie Redon
flute (1-4), vocals
vocals (1), cymbals (5)
flutes (1,2), alto saxophone (3,4,6), vocals