How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The Moutin brothers bassist François and drummer Louis co-lead their Moutin Factory Quintet on the delightfully engaging Lucky People, their first release with the above group. The intricately crafted tunes deftly interweave individual spontaneous expressions within each thematic framework bringing a stimulatingly dramatic sense to the music.
On the darkly simmering "Conflict," pianist Thomas Enhco
's wailing luminous sopranino fade in and out of the spotlight and remain integral parts of the melodic "plot." The band's expectant vamps punctuate Louis Moutin's explosive and complex concluding solo.
Equally climactic but significantly more introspective is the wistful "Forgiveness." Enhco channels his classical training with his chiming, pensive phrases that echo in the silent pauses that follow. His engaging, dialogue with the ensemble is imbued with nostalgia and leads to François Moutin's intensely poetic and eloquent improvisation.
The cinematic "You'll Be Fine" clearly demonstrates François Moutin's agile lyricism amid the intriguing harmonies brimming with an urbane mysticism. In contrast to Moutin's earthy reverberations stands guitarist Emmanuel Codjia's ethereal, electrifying tones that resonate in the tense ambience of the piece.
Codjia showcases a rawer but equally haunting sound on the elaborately constructed "A Busy Day." Riveting interplay among the different musicians marks this exciting track as well as the up-tempo and boppish "Moving On." The latter features crisp and clever exchange of ideas that evolves and becomes more multifaceted with each turn of the conversation.
This type of creative wit also marks "Dragonfly" with its soulful swagger and funky refrains. Moniot's intelligent extemporization thrills with its virtuosity and the flood of tightly interlaced, ardent lines that pours out of his saxophone.
Despite including an homage to saxophonist and free jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman
the "Ornette Medley," this sophisticated and captivating album remains solidly in the mainstream. Although the Moutin brothers do not push the proverbial envelope this uniformly superb work is full of elegant musicianship and imaginative originality.
Track Listing: Lucky People; Dragonfly; Soul; Ornette's Medley; Relativity; Forgiveness; A Busy Day; Moving
On; You'll Be Fine; Conflict.
Personnel: Francois Moutin: bass; Louis Moutin: drums;Emmanuel Codjia: guitar; Thomas Enhco: piano,
Christophe Monniot: saxophones.