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Erik Truffaz: Another Day Another Life

By Published: November 13, 2006

In July 2004 the Montreal Jazz Festival invited Truffaz to play in a special project based on the music of trumpeter Jon Hassell. For Truffaz it was an honor. "I love Jon Hassell," Truffaz enthuses. "I love his music. I love the man. He came with his music and we played, but there were three trumpet players—Paulo Fresu, Jon Hassell and myself. This man is a master and he was the first man who invented electro-jazz in the '70s. He released [Fourth World Vol. 1:] Possible Musics (EG, 1980) with Brian Eno. He's a master but he's not well known in the world—that's just because it happens like this."

The following year collaboration with fellow countryman Harald Haerter saw Truffaz rubbing shoulders with Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano and the late saxophonist Dewey Redman. Truffaz says of Haerter, "I've known him for four or five years. He is a really good guitarist." A short tour brought Truffaz onto the stage with Michael Brecker: "It was fantastic for me to perform with Michael Brecker. He's fantastic on stage. He's a good man. We had a very good complicity. He is a master. I heard on the radio recently Frank Zappa with Michael Brecker live and what playing! Just incredible!" The obvious admiration that Truffaz has for Brecker is mutual, as in interview Brecker has named Truffaz alongside his brother Randy Brecker and Roy Hargrove as his favorite trumpeters to play with. "With these type of men," Truffaz explains, "Joe Lovano or Michael Brecker, they are such monsters that they push you—it gives you power to be better for six months. It's inspiring."

Erik Truffaz One of Truffaz's chief sources of inspiration is eighty year-old Frenchman Pierre Henry, one of the pioneers of electro-acoustic music. "When I met Pierre Henry," explains Truffaz, "it was because I asked him for a remix for my remix album—a completely crazy remix! So I met him and I said it would be good to play together because the trumpet works with his sound." Pierre Henry composed music especially for Truffaz which they performed live. "Pierre Henry is really an artist because he says, 'You know I can hear that people love my music and they stay in the venue so I'm not in a good way, because my way is to make people leave the venue. If it is convention it is not my way.' And this man is eighty years old! He really invented a style. He was one of the first—1952, you can't imagine! They didn't have samplers, just one track and he invented this kind of music. I try to take inspiration from this man. I'm more interested in this man than in hard bop and mainstream music because my way is really between pop and jazz."

Inspired by artists ahead of their time such as Miles Davis, Pierre Henry, Jon Hassell and Yasujiro Ozu, Erik Truffaz is perhaps trying to create something new of his own, a music which transcends genre and categorization, something akin to what Jon Hassell calls "Fourth World" music. Truffaz is typically humble: "I don't think I'm a genius so I try to take inspiration from genius, but I am not. We try to do our best and we are happy when people are happy."

Selected Discography.

Our Theory, Yeah, That's Right (Nublu Records,2006)
Erik Truffaz, Face-a-Face (EMI Music, 2006)
Michel Benita, Drastic (BHM Records De, 2006)
Erik Truffaz, Saloua (EMI Music, 2005)
Harald Haerter, Catscan (Albeille, 2004)
Clones, Safety Copy (Sony Int'l, 2003)
Erik Truffaz, The Walk of the Giant Turtle (EMI Music, 2003)
Malia, Yellow Daffodils (Sony Int'l, 2002)
Erik Truffaz, Magrouni (EMI Music, 2002)
Francois Lindemann, Formats (TCB Music, 2001)
Erik Truffaz, Revisite (Blue Note, 2001)
Erik Truffaz, Mantis (Blue Note, 2001)
Goo, Elements (Shadow Records, 2001)
Erik Truffaz, Bending Corners (Blue Note, 1999)
Erik Truffaz, The Dawn (Blue Note, 1998)
Le Gooster, Zig Zag Zen (Shadow Records, 1997)
Erik Truffaz, Out Of A Dream (Blue Note, 1997)
Silent Majority, Curfew (UNIK, 1994)
Erik Truffaz, Nina Valeria (Elephant, 1993)
Maurice Magnoni, Etats des Sons : New York Suite (L&R Records, 1993)

Related Article
Erik Truffaz in Tampere (Concert Review, 2003)

Photo Credits

Top Photo: Jose Manuel Horna
Bottom Photo: Jos L. Knaepen

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