If Exuberance is defined as uninhibited enthusiasm, pianist Jacques Chanier’s original outing as a leader can be defined as exhilarating. The Paris (France not Texas) born, Berklee-schooled Boston resident has immersed himself in the American medium know as jazz. Specifically bebop, post-bop, contemplative, Shorter-esqe jazz. His prior recordings as sideman were with the Henry Cook Band, both Dimensional Odyssey
(1995) and Live At Montreux/Detroit
(1998) are on Accurate records.
Chanier’s trio includes bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Brooke Sofferman whose 1999 Modesty’s Odyssey was an admirable self-produced effort. The band accentuates the positive-ness that is Chanier. His music reminds me of Geri Allen with a foot in Bud Powell’s book and a mind for Miles Davis’ second quintet music. The disc opens with two up-tempo scorchers. Chanier successfully combines the flash of Oscar Peterson with the swing of Horace Silver. If it sounds like the great piano names are being tossed here freely, it’s because Chanier has absorbed much and so effortlessly moves between stylings. He has a mind for modern music reflected in “Passing By,” a song as ‘simply’ complex as a Wayne Shorter composition. His tribute “Remembering Miles” comes straight out of the Tutu era (although acoustic), with Sofferman applying the funk/jazz rocked out drumming and Kneeland pulling a vinegary time, Chanier spaces out his statements, jabbing and moving with thoughts and runs. The former Miles sideman is honored in the title track, with the Chick Corea time changes, lightning lyricism and semi-formalistic approach.
As the tracks progress from their bop beginnings, Chanier takes us out via ‘out’ music. The finally two segments come via Misha Mengelberg and Marilyn Crispell’s bag. The trio exhibits an excellence in all things creative, covering the history of piano jazz from 1950 to 2000. Chanier’s trio is exuberance. Chanier's music can be found here La Ronde Music .