As a youngster, French bassist Gui Duvignau was exposed to several disparate cultures and musical forms thanks to his adventure seeking parents' relocations to Morocco, Brazil, Portugal and back to Paris before landing in Boston, MA., to attend the Berklee School of Music, and subsequently ending up in New York City. Duvignau advises that in his early musical endeavors he found rock music less challenging than jazz. Hence, on this effort with well-known jazz warriors, saxophonist Billy Drewes and drummer Jeff Hirshfield along with Argentine pianist Santiago Leibson and German guitarist Elias Meister, the leader disperses his sharp compositional skills in a translucent setting that bridges multiple shadings of jazz.
The core piano trio launches the opener "Volta," enamored by Leibson's memorable melodic phrasings and the bassist's agile and poignant lines, as the band meshes lush voicings into a close-knit bond, sweetened by the magnetic theme. The following piece '2' sounds almost as if it's a reorganization of "Volta" but more up-tempo, also comprising memorable riffs. But on certain tracks Drewes and Meister add their wares and vision to the overall mix as they broaden the playing field with blossoming improv, and fierce articulations of a primary motif amid contrasts and contrapuntal give and take episodes.
Leibon's simply detailed low register block chords during "Une pensée pour Paris" and Hirshfield's cyclical drum patterns sets the stage for alternating grooves and a swaggering jazz rock vibe, topped off by the pianist's harmonious phrasings, slanted towards the Bill Evans school. But "Somewhat" is an off-centered jazz blues vamp, gussied up by Meister's swampy rock lines and Drewe's gritty runs. Moreover, Meister's EFX-tinged soloing is chock full of seething single note licks, teeming with the utmost clarity and hardwired determination, which are attributes that are consistent throughout this noteworthy production.
Une pensée pour Paris;
Detuned for Drewes;