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Erik Truffaz: Mantis (2002)

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Erik Truffaz: Mantis No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Finding his own voice through clarion sounds and original ideas, French trumpeter Erik Truffaz brings a fresh, contemporary performance to the jazz scene. Hip-hop rhythms combine with New Orleans shuffles. Spoken word rhythms pump up the jam. Finally emerging from the powerful influence of Miles Davis, Truffaz lays his own brand of cool jazz out for a world audience to enjoy. By adding Tunisian singer Mounir Troudi to one piece and bringing in oud virtuoso Anour Brahem for another, he ignites sparks that carry his music beyond what he's accomplished through five previous albums. Sure, it's a lot; but he's not attempting to cover too much territory. It's all a natural outcome of what Truffaz has been doing from the start. His music pushes the envelope of mainstream jazz. By holding tone quality and lyricism in utmost regard and blending in various contemporary & world elements, he's created jazz that we can all respect.

This session differs from the trumpeter's previous U.S. releases, in that he's substituted guitar for piano. Truffaz and Manu Codjia work well together. "Yasmina" is a lovely duet with pleasant harmony. "Parlophone" runs eerie and kind of funny, while several others play somber and majestic. There's even a bonus track at the end. After a little more than a minute of silence, the band pumps up electric trumpet and electric guitar in a Jimi Hendrix-styled affair. Eric Truffaz has found his own voice. As long as he maintains the relatively high emphasis he places on musicianship, along with his healthy, creative spirit, the trumpeter is sure to win friends all over the world.

Track Listing: The Point; La Memoire du Silence; Saisir; No Fear; Nina Valeria; Parlophone; Magrouni; Mantis; Yasmina; Mare Mosso; Tahun Bahu.

Personnel: Erik Truffaz- trumpet; Manu Codjia- guitar; Michel Benita- acoustic bass; Phillippe Garcia- drums; Anour Brahem- oud on "Nina Valeria;" Mounir Troudi- vocal on "Magrouni."

Record Label: Blue Note Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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