All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

37

Renaud Garcia-Fons: Beyond The Double Bass

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The double bass. Everyone knows the double bass—it goes "boom, boom, boom." Sometimes, to paraphrase Sophia Loren, it goes "boom, boody, boom." In the hands of a virtuoso it does so much more than that: it has passion, dynamism, emotion and the power to move the soul. Renaud Garcia-Fons is such a virtuoso and Beyond The Double Bass—a compilation drawn from ten previous albums, with an accompanying DVD documentary—is absolutely superb.

Garcia-Fons—who favors a five-string double bass on all but one tune—was born in Catalonia and now lives on the outskirts of Paris. His musical influences are many: as suggested by the instrumental line-up to be found across the 14 tunes. Flamenco, European classical, Indian, North African, prog rock and jazz all find their way into his compositions and his playing, but this cross-fertilisation along with his stunning technical ability creates a uniquely beautiful sound. Whether playing pizzicato, arco, or in a combination which he calls "pizz d'arco" Garcia-Fons displays a mastery of the instrument.

Beyond The Double Bass draws on Garcia-Fons' 20 year discography as leader, from Légendes (Thelonious, 1992) to the live Solo, The Marceval Concert (Enja, 2012), plus two new compositions recorded in 2013. The tunes range from the large ensemble sound of "Wadi Rum," based on the Tegui rhythm of the Sahara, to the solo bass compositions "Funambule" (played on a four-string) "Palermo Notturno," where Garcia-Fons uses electronic sampling to create an orchestral feel, the previously unreleased "En Mi Barrio" (dedicated to Luis Bunuel) and "Voyage À Jeyhounabad."

The accordion, played by Jean Louis Matinier or David Venitucci, is a strong presence alongside Garcia-Fons' double bass. Matinier is notable on "Al Camarón," a tribute to the great flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla. It's a striking quartet performance—Yves Torchinsky on second double bass and Jacques Mahieux on drums complete the group—full of energy and positivity. Matinier also joins Garcia-Fons (performing as the duo Fuera) on "Bari," a romantic mid-tempo waltz.

Flamenco guitar—in the hands of Antonio "Kiko" Ruiz—also features on many of the tunes. "Berimbass" is a sultry, spacious, trio performance from Garcia-Fons, Ruiz and percussionist Jorge "Negrito" Trasante. The graceful "La Linea Del Sur" combines bass with Venitucci's accordion, Ruiz' guitar and Pascal Rollando's percussion—a tribute to Astor Piazzolla that mixes tango, flamenco and jazz.

The recordings on Beyond The Double Bass are consistently excellent, but one of the previously unreleased recordings stands out even in this exalted company. "Camino De Felicidad"—a Latin-inspired duet between Garcia-Fons and his daughter, Soleá Garcia-Fons—is exquisite. Father and daughter set up a percussive groove over which Renaud's arco bass and Soleá's rich and romantic voice weave the melody: a beautiful and immediately engaging song.

Track Listing: En Mi Barrio; Aljamiado; Oriental Bass; Berimbass; Entremundo; La Linea Del Sur; Wadi Rum; Hommage À Ostad; Al Camarón; Palermo Notturno; Funambule; Camino De Felicidad; Bari; Voyage À Jeyhounabad.

Personnel: Reynaud Garcia-Fons: double bass, palmas, percussion; Soleá Garcia-Fons: vocals, palmas; Claire Antoinini: lute, zither; David Venitucci: accordion; Jean-Louis Matinier: accordion; Antonio "Kiko" Ruiz: flamenco guitar, palmas; Adel Shams El Din: riqq; Yves Favre: trombone; Chris Hayward: flutes; Henri Tournier: flutes, bansuri; Bruno Sansalone: clarinets; Pierre Hamon: bagpipes; Hakan Gungor: kanoun; Françoise Couvert: violin; Philippe Couvert: violin, Franck Pichon: violin; Yves Torchinsky: double bass; Rabh Khalfa: derbouka, tar, bendir; Dahmane Khalfa: carcabas; saguetes, tbel, derbouka, bendir; Rhaba Khakfa: derbouka, carcabas, bendir; Bruno Caillat: tablas; Gaston Sylvestre: cymbalum; Sam Schlamminger: daf; Franck Tortiller: marimba; Jorge "Negrito" Trasante: drums, percussion; Jacques Mahieux: drums; Pascal Rollando: percussion.

Title: Beyond The Double Bass | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Enja Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Outsidethebox CD/LP/Track Review
Outsidethebox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 16, 2018
Read There Are Stars In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review
There Are Stars In Brooklyn
by James Fleming
Published: October 16, 2018
Read The Seasons of Being CD/LP/Track Review
The Seasons of Being
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 16, 2018
Read Passages CD/LP/Track Review
Passages
by Don Phipps
Published: October 16, 2018
Read Picture in Black and White CD/LP/Track Review
Picture in Black and White
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 15, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 15, 2018
Read "Train Of Thought" CD/LP/Track Review Train Of Thought
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "New Beginnings" CD/LP/Track Review New Beginnings
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "Selective Coverage" CD/LP/Track Review Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Groovin' With Big G" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin' With Big G
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 4, 2018
Read "Long Time Gone/To Beat Or Not To Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Long Time Gone/To Beat Or Not To Beat
by Doug Collette
Published: January 6, 2018
Read "Promise!" CD/LP/Track Review Promise!
by Don Phipps
Published: April 6, 2018