Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

251

William Chabbey: At Home

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
On At Home, guitarist William Chabbey and his group turn in a performance with all the buoyant self-assurance of an early-'60s Blue Note date. Of course, what distinguished the Blue Note records of that period from those of other labels was that the company paid for a day of rehearsal in addition to the recording date: the records consequently sounded both fresh and well prepared. These days so many new records sound exceedingly well-rehearsed: strangely enough, the difficult bit is capturing that looseness, pregnant with possibility, that characterized so many a session during the heyday of post-bop jazz. To his credit, Chabbey manages, oxymoronically, to sound loose and tight at the same time.

The first six cuts on At Home, featuring Chabbey's quintet (on a couple of numbers pared down to quartet or trio), not only capture that Blue Note energy, but they would not sound out of place on a release from that era. The final three numbers feature Chabbey in a trio with accordionist Didier Ithursarry that ranges from mildly to very French-sounding, with swirling 3/4 and 6/4 time signatures and Gallic themes.

Chabbey's sound exploits low treble and the sonority of his open-bodied guitar (which was built by his father). The guitarist's soloing is more Wes Montgomery than Django Reinhardt. He has a bit of the elegance of Joe Pass or Chabbey's unjustly under-appreciated compatriot Frédéric Loiseau, but with more than a little grit, too.

Saxophonist David Sauzay arranged two tracks here, and composed two others. His fast-out-of-the-gates solo on "Big Will" is worthy of the Jazz Messengers. Trumpeter Fabien Mary sounds comparatively more timorous, but he too has his moment of glory in a suitably soulful solo on the aptly named "Soul Jazz." In fact, everyone shines on this idiomatic number: Chabbey's solo features a vigorous passage based on strummed octave notes right out of Wes Montgomery's playbook. "Soul Jazz," akin to Herbie Mann's "Comin' Home," suggests that Chabbey would thrive in an organ-based soul-jazz combo.

Drummer Mourad Benhammou's vigorous break on "Mister Brown" is another high point. The number is a tribute to the late drummer George Brown, one-time sideman to Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell (to name only the guitarists with whom he had worked) and long-time French resident, with whom Chabbey has played over the years.

Although Chabbey and his bandmates really swing on the harder-charging tunes, two slow numbers—"Super 404," from the "Blue Note" portion of the record, and "La belle," from the "French" part—are argubably the record's finest moments. Both underscore Chabbey's fine skills as a composer and as a thoughtful improviser.

Track Listing: Antivirus; Mister Brown; Big Will; Super 404; Buddy Boy Blues; Soul Jazz; La belle; Grand boulevard; Double Scotch.

Personnel: William Chabbey: guitar; Fabien Mary: trumpet; David Sauzay: saxophone; Fabien Marcoz: bass; Mourad Benhammou: drums (1-6); Charles Benarroch: drums (7-9); Didier Ithursarry: accordion (7-9).

Title: At Home | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Aphrodite Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "Chain" CD/LP/Track Review Chain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "Live at the Athenaeum" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Athenaeum
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 12, 2018