Erik Truffaz Quartet: El Tiempo De La Revolución (2013)
Across a twenty-year recording career, Swiss-born trumpeter Erik Truffaz has explored jazz, rock, electronica, dance and ambient musics. El Tiempo De La Revolución, his tenth album for Blue Note France, mixes jazz, '80s soul and a touch of Nordic cool to create some intriguing soundscapes and moods.
El Tiempo De La Revolución is credited to the Erik Truffaz Quartet, which Truffaz formed in 1997. Alongside original members Marcello Giuliani on bass and Marc Erbetta on drums, Truffaz is joined on this album by keyboardist Benoit Corboz, who became a member of the quartet in 2010. The tunes, all jointly composed by the band members, are constructed within relatively narrow boundaries, avoiding extremes of volume or tempo, creating a shared mood across most of the tunes but generally avoiding any sense of monotony by judicious sonic combinations.
Truffaz' muted trumpet is a consistent presence, setting up and maintaining the music's ambient, comfortable, feel. Only on "Un Souffle Qui Passe" does he move completely away from this mood, towards a more unsettling, almost voice-like, tone. It's left to the remaining three musicians to bring more varied approaches to the tunes. "African Mist" centers on Giuliani's hypnotic, repetitive, bass line, while "La Luna Mentirosa" is characterized by a seductive '80s mix of keyboards, drums and bass. On the somnolent "Istanbul Tango" Giuliani's compressed bass plays another deceptively simple line while Corboz' Hammond jumps between sleepy chordal washes and funky, percussive, stabs.
Anna Aaronwhose Dogs In Spirit (Two Gentlemen, 2011) features Truffaz and was produced by Giulianisings on "Blue Movie," "A Better Heart" and "Blow Away." She sounds like British soul and R&B singer Sam Browne, a slight catch in her voice lending it a distinctive emotional undertone. This similarity is clearest on "Blue Movie," the most arresting of the three songs, which may be about a broken love affair, but is (almost certainly) not about blue movies.
The bleak "Revolution Of Time" opens with Corboz's sparse, Satie-esque solo piano. It's a mournful but lovely tune and features Truffaz's most emotionally engaging playing on the whole of El Tiempo De La Revolución. It's followed by five minutes of silence and then an uncredited one-minute burst of down home, bluesy slide guitar and vocals. It's a minute worth waiting for, but it begs the question, "Why?" Perhaps Truffaz is setting the scene for a change of direction.
Track Listing: El Tiempo De La Revolución; Istanbul Tango; Blue Movie; African Mist; La Luna Mentirosa; A Better Heart; Un Souffle Qui Passe; Mr K.; Blow Away; Revolution Of Time.
Personnel: Erik Truffaz: trumpet; Benoit Corboz: Hammond organ, Fender Rhodes, piano; Marcello Giuliani: bass; Marc Erbetta: drums, percussion, vocal; Anna Aaron: vocals (3, 6, 9).