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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Les Amants De Juliette & Majid Bekkas (Quoi De Neuf Docteur, 2010) ***½

"Les Amants de Juliette" is one of the most lightfooted and joyful small free jazz outfits coming from France, with Serge Adam on trumpet, Benoît Delbecq on piano, and Philippe Foch on tabla and percussion. The three musicians are excellent and have given me many hours of musical joy with their previous albums. Their music is open-textured, but very accessible and intimate. In November 2007, they invited Moroccan musician Majid Bekkas for this nice concert. Bekkas plays oud and percussion, and sings once in a while. This forces the band to move even more into world jazz territory, adapting scales and meeting Bekkas halfway without relinquishing their fresh approach.

The album is pleasant throughout (with the exception of "Shyness Is Beautiful", a spoken word piece, and we all know I don't like this), and although it is not really breaking new ground, the end result is again a nice piece of music, like a bowl of fresh salad.

Listen and download from eMusic.

© stef