Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

166

Orchestre National de Jazz: Charmediterran

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Diversity is the keynote of the Orchestre National de Jazz, led by Paolo Damiani, the first foreign musical director of the French Orchestra. The charms of the Mediterranean that sweep through the music are evoked by the many rhythmic patterns of the lands of the region. More, the compositions come from Damiani, Trovesi, Jeanneau and Brahem, each with his own perspective but with his eyes on the whole. In coming together, they have constructed an exciting musical travelogue. Credit should also go to the fact, and the perspective, of having Trovesi and Brahem as guest soloists during the Orchestra's 2000-2001 season.

The writing establishes many moods, weaves orchestral textures, and leaves room for players to craft their invention. The opening moments are the augury as a fanfare sweeps into dissonance and heralds "Sequenza Orfiche." The warm, broad strokes of the oud are the calm before the storm that seethes below the surface and as the ensemble slowly gains force, a roiling tempestuousness is countered by the horns supplicating in straight lines on top. De Pourquery adds to the dramatic temperament with bent notes and wails. The three movements of "Estramadure" are contrasts in movement and rhythm. The lure never diminishes from the sweeping acclamation of "Part 1," with Huby cavorting on the violin in quick changes of intonation atop the bass heavy punch of the drums a lead-in for Damiani to exult the beautiful melody on the cello. Trovesi is the bridge between the parts. His alto escarps and incises, a build-up to the last that rocks out as Benoit shafts scathing runs on the guitar.

Brahem brings a different hue to "Artefact." A Middle Eastern melody is drawn out of the oud, softly resplendent of a clear night filled with stars, gently stirred into another becoming sphere by Trovesi on the piccolo clarinet, the two of one soul as they explore the melodicism of the composition. Collignon is full bodied yet conveys a certain fragility on the flugelhorn for the second part, where he is joined by Jeanneau, their voices singing as one.

To leave it at that would be incomplete. The orchestra moves in with some dazzling play, the horns exult and it all winds up in an explosion of tone and color. The breadth of the compositions wrapped in memorable tunes, the open-ended arrangements and musicians who can cleave together or find their own path with an undeniable sense of direction, make this a rewarding experience.

Track Listing:

Sequenze Orfiche; Estramadure; Montb

Personnel: Paolo Damiani: cello, artistic and musical direction; Francois Jeanneau: soprano saxophone, flute, musical co-direction; Thomas de Pourquery: soprano, alto and tenor saxophones; Jean-Marc Larch: soprano, alto and baritone saxophones; M

Title: Charmediterran | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jul12Fri
Orchestre National de Jazz
Festival Jazz A Luz
Luz-Saint-Sauveur, France
Dec2Mon
Orchestre National de Jazz
L'astrada
Marciac, France

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019