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Philippe Duchemin Trio: Swing & Strings (2012)

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Philippe Duchemin Trio: Swing & Strings French pianist Philippe Duchemin's entry into the jazz-with-strings repertoire merges his classical roots with a love of modern jazz, blues and soul. His dual talents of composing and playing make this a strongly swinging album, with the string quartet adding a lovely luster.

Duchemin's crisp keyboard progressions contrast with the soaring and sizzling strings of the Atlantic String Quartet (Le Quatuor Atlantique, musicians from the Monte Carlo Orchestra). His longtime colleagues, twin brothers Christophe Le Van on bass and Philippe Le Van on drums, are fully integrated into the mix, making this a most delectable French treat.

The jazz charts include "It's All Right with Me," "Caravan" and "Who Can I Turn To?" plus a fresh rendition of Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
1925 - 2007
piano
's "L'Impossible." But the classical selections swing just as much, including Tchaikovsky's "Barcarolle Juin," Duchemin's contrapuntal "Take Bach" and a stunning interpretation of Michel Petrucciani
Michel Petrucciani
Michel Petrucciani
b.1962
piano
's "Cantabile," a longtime European jazz favorite.

The sound is celebratory and vivacious, witty and powerful. The pianist-leader's agility and invention deliver the joyous swing of Peterson, his main influence, but distinctly memorable elements are solely his own. The 10 tracks reflect Duchemin's six years of classical training and then his shift at age 15 to studying the styles of his jazz piano idols Fats Waller
Fats Waller
Fats Waller
1904 - 1943
piano
, Erroll Garner
Erroll Garner
Erroll Garner
1921 - 1977
piano
and Peterson.

Through the decades, some critics and fans have maligned the strings-with-jazz sound, a concept dating back to the 1950s with albums by Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
Clifford Brown
1930 - 1956
trumpet
, Ben Webster
Ben Webster
Ben Webster
1909 - 1973
sax, tenor
and Phineas Newborn
Phineas Newborn
Phineas Newborn
1931 - 1989
piano
. They were followed in the '60s by Stan Getz
Stan Getz
Stan Getz
1927 - 1991
sax, tenor
, Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
, Paul Desmond
Paul Desmond
Paul Desmond
1924 - 1977
sax, alto
, Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
Stan Kenton
1911 - 1979
piano
and Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
Wes Montgomery
1925 - 1968
guitar
. More recently, trumpeter Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
b.1946
trumpet
and guitarist Russell Malone
Russell Malone
Russell Malone
b.1963
guitar, electric
have issued CDs with strings. This album, like its predecessors, is beautifully played music, not sentimental schmaltz or Muzak mush.

Duchemin is a regular at European jazz festivals and clubs, and performed in 2008 in Washington, D.C. The trio won the 2011 International Montauban Jazz Band Competition in France, the year the trio released Massilia (Black and Blue).


Track Listing: It’s All Right with Me; Barcarolle Juin; Take Bach; Que Reste T’il de Nos Amours; Cantabile; Caravan; Who Can I Turn To; There Is No Greater Love; Ballade en Pologne; L’Impossible.

Personnel: Philippe Duchemin: piano; Christophe Le Van: bass; Philippe Le Van: drums; Arnaud Aguergaray: first violin; Aurelia Lambert: second violin; Cecile Denielou: viola; Yves Bouillier: cello.

Record Label: Black and Blue Records


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