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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Les Amants De Juliette (Quoi de neuf docteur) ****

"Les Amants De Juliette" (Juliet's lovers) is a French trio with Serge Adam on trumpet, Benoît Delbecq on prepared piano and Philippe Foch on tabla and percussion. Their musical universe is a great fusion between world music, modern minimalism, and free jazz. This is their fourth record so far, released on the French label "Quoi De Neuf Docteur", but now available on eMusic, together with other releases by the same label, and it is more than worth listening to. Adam is an excellent trumpeter, who has been active in various bands, ranging from traditional jazz over folk music to more experimental music. This trio is something special. It reminds me of Codona, with Don Cherry, Nana Vasconcelos and Collin Walcott in the joy of its music, although this trio is a little more intellectual in their search for new form and complex overlapping rhythms, it also reminds me of "Agbalagba Daada" by Per Jørgensen and Terje Isungset, although is a little less folksy/shamanistic. Foch's percussion is excellent, and although his tabla often gives the music an Indian sound, the rhythms are not (necessarily), influences abound, as do creative approaches. Technically, Delbecq's piano-playing is probably the most discerning element, and surely the most unorthodox, with muted strings, tantric left hand repetitions, interesting melodic try-outs, or percussive playing, often sounding like an African string instrument rather than a piano. And although it's not a new release, it's a great one to start the year with : open to the world, light-footed, creative, and full of hope and joy.

Listen and download from eMusic.

Go To Quoi De Neuf Docteur for more information on Serge Adam's multiple projects.

Watch them on Youtube (bad sound and image).

© stef