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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Lucien Dubuis Trio & Marc Ribot - Ultime Cosmos (Enja Records, 2009) ****

I praised the Lucien Dubuis Trio before and here also. The Swiss band, with Lucien Dubuis on alto sax and contrabass clarinet, Roman Nowka on bass and guitar, and Lionel Friedli on drums, is a real band for the boys, one that assembles everything which is fun, rhythmically, melodically, in terms of soloing and in terms of sound. It has the attitude and the quality of the better police movies or westerns - the kind of thing that only boys enjoy : roughness, shooting, car chases, jumping off buildings, smashing things once in while, action and action, some machism, some totally incorrect attitude, with the necessary jokes and witticisms in between, but especially, action without time for psychology or philosophy or sociology or any other speed bumps. And just that little level of romance to get the hormones flowing. Well, this is kind of the musical equivalent to these movies.

Teaming up with Marc Ribot on guitar only doubles the fun. The trio is highly entertaining by themselves, but Ribot adds just that little thing that makes it all even more attractive, from the scorching wah-wah solo on the first piece (think Ritchie Blackmore), or the sweetest Latin melodies (à la Cubanos Postizos), combined with the very low contrabass clarinet sounds a really great combination, or weird fretless sounds (or is it slide guitar?), jazzy sounds, or rapid fire unison lines in the most modern mutant funk or pumping rock.

You get the gist. No slow moments. Only great musical fun, with all the necessary ingredients that make up the cliché, only too good to be called that way : rough and screaming soloing, pumping rhythms, disciplined duels, magnificent skills, instrumental acrobatics, compositional variation, and even the Zappa-esque lyrics on "Shit Love". Dubuis' compositions are excellent : he always finds the right angle to tell his story, compact, full of drive and intelligence, with "La Danse Des Machines" without a doubt the best track. And the playing is fabulous too : one of the most rhythmic bands on the scene today.

And on top of it all, you get a DVD with it, with creatively edited rehearsal material.

Purchase directly from the artists.

© stef