French trumpeter Erik Truffaz proves again to be a jazz non-conformist on his fourth US Blue Note release, where he exploits the musical elements of hard rock, funk, psychedelia, dance, and jazz in grand fashion. On last year's notable Mantis, which featured nice guitar work, Arab vocals, and unusual instruments, he showed no fear in blurring the boundaries of various musical genres. The similarities to Miles Davis fusion works are unmistakable; and like Miles, Truffaz seems to be somewhat of a music explorer who will not settle for the jazz status quo.
While Mantis featured a heavy drum-n-bass influence, The Walk of the Giant Turtle is more rock oriented. Truffaz admittedly listened more to the rock group Led Zeppelin than Miles Davis growing up, and three selections feature head-banger excursions. With feedback, echo effects, and over-amped mikes, the record makes one swear that a distorted Stratocaster is in the mix. Truffaz's trumpet is at times electronically wired, giving the illusion of a wild guitar solo on selections such "King B." The technology highlights the music yet never becomes gimmicky or overstated.
Truffaz uses a minimalist approach to his playing. His solos incorporate sparse notes and delayed timing with an emphasis on creating the right mood for each composition. This band features a tight group of musicians with whom the trumpeter has toured and performed for many years. The quartet shines on "Seven Skies," featuring an extreme keyboard solo from Muller as well as strong rhythm work from bassist Marcello Giuliani and drummer Marc Erbetta. These varied selections include equal portions that are hypnotic, mesmerizing, and rhythmic, such as the title selection and the moody "Flamingos." Whether you want to chill out, party, or rock your head off, this is music that should be cranked up all the way on your volume setting.
The enchanced CD also features a quicktime movie of a live studio performance.
Track Listing: Scody, Pt. 1; Scody, Pt. 2; King B; Flamingos ; Turidus; Next Door; Belle de Nuit; Wilfried ; Seven Skies; The Walk of the Giant Turtle.
Personnel: Erik Truffaz: trumpet, effects; Patrick Muller: keyboards, synths;
Marcello Giuliani: bass; Marc Erbetta: drums.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.