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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Henri Texier - Alerte A L'Eau (Label Bleu, 2007) *****

Here it is : the new Texier : suprising and recognizable at the same time. Texier's trademark melodies are again all over the place, something only he could compose, whether the music is slow or fast. The CD starts with the uptempo "Afrique à l'Eau", with a strong horn section contrapuntually supporting the fusion-like guitar of Manuel Codjia, accompanied with afro drumming not unlike Ed Blackwell. The third piece, "Blues d'Eau", is a slow blues, with Sebastien Texier's tenor in a leading role. Every four numbers brings a duo setting. The first, "Flaque Nuage", with the trombone of Géorgui Kornazov and percussion, slow and bluesy, the second "Flaque Etoile", a free-spirited dialogue between the bass clarinet of François Corneloup and the sax of Sébastien Texier, talking, shouting, dancing against and around each other, yet ending in a suprising unisono, the third "Flaque Soleil", with arpeggio guitar accompanying a beautiful bass solo by Texier, and the fourth "Flaque Lune", starting with the pulsing bass of Texier, supported with the nervous drumming of Christophe Marquet. This has also become a trademark of Texier's albums : to pay careful attention to the structure of the whole album and to intersperse it with shorter pieces (see "Indian's Week" for instance). The strongest piece of the album is "O Elvin", wonderfully rhythmic with solo space for each of the musicians and with changing themes. And it goes on and on : light-weighted, heavy-hearted, dancing, crying, with carefully crafted compositions, with changing rhythms (reggae, blues, afro, jazzy, rock, waltz, ...) and with strong interplay with shouting solos, singing solos, crashing solos.

I don't know what's happening in the first few months of this year, but many great jazz albums have been published so far. And this CD fits perfectly well in the series. Again : run to the store to get this album. Now!