To avoid the “Quésaco?” on the sleeve of Piano Dazibao, François Tusques explains everything: A wall mural on which the Red Guard expressed their opinions during the Chinese proletarian cultural revolution. So much for the “Dazibao”, very good; but the piano in all that?
The piano, François Tusques was self-taught and his work was influenced by Jelly Roll Morton and Earl Hines before discovering Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and then… free jazz. In Paris in 1965, Tusques mixed with Michel Portal, François Jeanneau, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Aldo Romano or Jacques Thollot. He also met Don Cherry and above all recorded, with other like-minded Frenchmen (Portal and Jeanneau alongside Bernard Vitet, Beb Guérin and Charles Saudrais), the first album of free jazz in France, named… Free Jazz.
In 1967, Tusques again served up Le Nouveau Jazz, this time in the company of Barney Wilen (and Guérin, Jenny-Clark, Romano). Three years later his thirst for freedom led him to isolation; between May and September 1970, the pianist recorded, at his home, the first of two albums that he would release on Futura Records: Piano Dazibao and Dazibao N°2.
Under the influence of Mao and Lewis Carroll, the free spirit roamed and composed seven tracks which are not so much free as libertarian. As an homage to some friends (Don Cherry, Sunny Murray, Archie Shepp, Clifford Thornton but also Colette Magny, Michel Le Bris or the Le Théâtre de Chêne Noir), the pianist played cascading bouquets of notes, free-form wanderings, blues-ambushed dances, growls, discords, a fatal requiem… A cherished freedom, songs of hope and demands, François Tusques offers the most unrelenting of independent records.