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De l'Aube au Crepuscule is a most thoroughly Belgian release, with all liner note information in French, so I can't provide you with any background on the musicians or compositions. However, previous mental conditioning is linking "Crepescule" with "Nellie" (Thelonious Monk, 1946) and advising me that this record is worthy of your attention.
Pianist Olivier Collette is the composer and arranger of these thirteen songs. His ten piece combo is augmented with strings on a few tracks. The album starts off in a rather prosaic fashion with "De l'Aube" and "Peaceful Dance," featuring a soprano sax melody from Bart Defoort that sounds like smooth jazz. However, on "Phenix," the same Mr. Defoort's tenor sax is appreciably better. On "Arabesque," Olivier Ker Ourio plays a very Toots Thielemans-like harmonica with the addition of a string quartet. Mr.Ourio is also featured on "Tango Solitude" and again is in harmony with the tango dance arrangement. Defort gets his best tenor sax opportunity on "Cath's Song," which heats up the combo.
This 70 minute sojourn to Benelux provides interesting textures and tends to catch you off guard after the first two tracks. I did go back and re-listen to them and will stay with my original statement. The use of the string quartet and harmonica strategically placed, along with the tenor sax solos, keeps you wondering what the next musical direction will be. The tunes themselves are diverting and subtle.
Track Listing: De l'Aube..., Peaceful Dance, Phenix, Arabesque, Tango Solitude, Dancing Birds, I Don't Care, The World Needs Us To Be..., Tender, Blue Conversation, You Know Why, Cath's Song, ..Au Crepuscule.
Personnel: Bart Defoort,tenor and soprano sax; Bart De Noif,bass; Jan de Haas,drums; Fabien Degryse,acoustic guitars; Olivier Ker Ourio, harmonica; Kurt Bude, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet; Frank Michiels,percussion; Laurence Collette,flute; Olivier Bodson,flugelhorn; Olivier Collette,piano; Sigrid Vandenbogaerde,cello; Dominica Eyckmans,viola; Igor Semenoff,Cecile Broche,violins
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.