5

Eric Le Lann: I Remember Chet

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Eric Le Lann: I Remember Chet
French trumpeter Eric Le Lann has a bit part in Bertrand Tavernier's 1986 film Round Midnight, the story of a French jazz fan's friendship with wayward American jazz musician Dale Turner, played by tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon. Le Lann plays a French jazz trumpeter—not much of a stretch. More to the point, the film's story mirrored, however approximately, an episode in his own life, in which Le Lann befriended the expatriate Chet Baker during the latter's troubled final decade.

On I Remember Chet, Le Lann pays tribute to the older trumpeter, a quarter century after his death. The record features a cross section of tunes closely associated with Baker; the sole original, Le Lann's "Backtime," fits in well enough.

Le Lann's playing would not likely be mistaken for Baker's, but the record makes clear his affinity for several key features of the late trumpeter's playing: particularly, a singing tone, a swinging sense of time and a certain tenderness. At the same time, Le Lann's playing is steely and more forthright than Baker's vulnerable sound. Le Lann favors the lower to middle portion of the trumpet's range. Most important, Le Lann is not in the least intimidated by Baker's mythic reputation, and he and his trio turn in a remarkably strong and satisfying performance.

The record's instrumentation is spare: trumpet accompanied only by Nelson Veras' acoustic guitar and Gildas Boclé's double bass. The Franco-Brazilian guitarist has an enigmatic style, never approaching a solo in a predictable way, never hewing too closely to the written melody but, at the same time, restrained and reverent. As a sideman on this project, Veras is excellent, maintaining a level of improvisational complexity that nicely complements Le Lann's directness. In fact, at times it sounds like Le Lann is encouraged by Veras' elliptical sensibility to develop solos that float a little more freely from the songs' melodic mooring.

Bassist Boclé, meanwhile, is essentially the sole rhythm instrument (Veras is particularly minimalist when he is not soloing, and on a particularly sunny "The Touch of Your Lips," he is absent altogether). Boclé provides a solid beat on what is, after all, a fairly swinging session.

Track Listing

For Minors Only; If I Should Care; The More I See You; I Am A Fool To Want You; Summertime; The Touch Of Your Lips; Milestones; Zingaro; Love For Sale; Angel Eyes; Backtime.

Personnel

Eric Le Lann: trumpet; Nelson Veras: guitar; Gildas Boclé: double bass.

Album information

Title: I Remember Chet | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Bee Jazz

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

View events near Paris
Jazz Near Paris
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

Shapeshifters
Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski
Tales From The Jacquard
Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra
Dreamer
Pamai Chirdkiatisak
Music Room 1985
Wayne Krantz
Tumaini
Berta Moreno Afro-Jazz Soul Project
Stories
Roni Ben-Hur

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.