Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
279

Miller/Petrucciani/Lagrene/White/Garrett: Dreyfus Night in Paris

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Miller/Petrucciani/Lagrene/White/Garrett: Dreyfus Night in Paris Nearly a decade after its concert appearance in Paris, this all-star quintet has finally made it onto record. The Dreyfus Night, first convened in Paris in 1993, was in its second reincarnation, and the highlight of five gluttonous hours of music was a star-studded band pulled together by label head Francis Dreyfus. The much-hyped group included three Miles Davis alumni alongside guitarist Bireli Lagrene and pianist Michel Petrucciani.

As one might expect from the fusioneering cast, the performance carries unmistakable echoes from Chick Corea (drummer Lenny White) and Miles Davis (saxophonist Kenny Garrett and bassist Marcus Miller). But the presence of Lagrene and Petrucciani helps round out a jazzier sound, and that quite honestly is exactly what the program needs. The three extended tunes, clocking in around seventeen minutes apiece, all share a sense of joy and mutual exploration.

Marcus Miller plays a dominant role in the proceedings, contributing two of three compositions and some very active, forward playing. "Tutu," penned in honor of the Nobel Prize-winning Bishop, comes from Miles' absolutely disastrous record of the same name. Fortunately this funky resurrection comes brightly alive, due in large part to a soaring alto solo by Kenny Garrett, which rises to a searing climax and eventually comes back down to earth, only to yield to a virtuosic blues-tinged effort by Lagrene. Miller pops and bounces all the way through.

The group pauses for breath duing Miller's pensive piece "The King Is Gone." As the tune progresses, Miller and Petrucciani introduce more and more swing until the pulse simply vibrates with understated energy. Everyone solos. As the pianist's "Looking Up" breaks through at the end, the quintet heads into an upbeat, percolating samba. This tune, the real highlight of the record, takes maximum advantage of the rhythm section's interlaced pulse: White and Miller are equally percussive, and it's actually a bit of a challenge to sort them out. (That's not a reflection of the sound quality, which is amazingly clear and balanced throughout.)

While listeners attuned to any of these individual players will find some very inspired playing—especially from Lagrene—the real strength of the recording lies in their ability to work together as a unit through a range of moods and styles. Whatever your expectations, the combination works quite well.


Track Listing: 1. Tutu (16:36) 2. The King Is Gone (17:19) 3. Looking Up (16:31). Recorded July 7, 1994 at Palais Des Sports (Paris).

Personnel: Marcus Miller: electric bass; Kenny Garrett: alto saxophone; Michel Petrucciani: piano; Bireli Lagrene: electric guitar; Lenny White: drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Dreyfus Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
One LP
CD/LP/Track Review
Profiles
Read more articles
Afrodeezia
Afrodeezia
Blue Note Records
2015
buy
Renaissance
Renaissance
Concord Music Group
2012
buy
[no cover]
Live In Lugano
Dreyfus Jazz
2012
buy
[no cover]
Tutu Revisited
Not Two Records
2011
buy
A Night in Monte Carlo
A Night in Monte Carlo
Dreyfus Records
2011
buy
A Night in Monte-Carlo
A Night in Monte-Carlo
Concord Music Group
2011
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Jaco Pastorius Jaco Pastorius
bass, electric
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Weather Report Weather Report
band/orchestra
George Benson George Benson
guitar
George Duke George Duke
piano
David Sanborn David Sanborn
saxophone
Bela Fleck Bela Fleck
banjo
Billy Cobham Billy Cobham
drums

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.