253

Pierre de Bethmann: Ilium Quintet

J. Robert Bragonier By

Sign in to view read count
Pierre de Bethmann: Ilium Quintet Born in 1965 in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, Pierre de Bethmann began classical piano lessons at age 6, only later discovering the world of jazz. He continued his musical and regular studies apace and actually worked as a management consultant beginning in 1990. In 1994 he formed the musical group Prysm with Christophe Wallemme and Benjamin Henocq, and one year later he abandoned the desk to become a fulltime professional musician. Since 1997, Prysm has performed over fifty concerts a year, including tours of the U.S., Japan and the Middle East, and has recorded four albums on the Blue Note label.

Bethmann founded the group Ilium in 2001, a quintet based on the sound of the Fender Rhodes piano surrounded, except for guitar, by acoustic instruments. He is joined by 30-year-old saxophonist David El Malek, a quartet leader in his own right; Michael Felberbaum, an American guitarist based in Paris since 1991; Clovis Nicolas, a 28-year-old bassist who has played in the Belmondo Quintet and the Baptiste Trotignon Trio; and Franck Agulhon, who has performed regularly with Bireli Lagrène, Stefano di Battista, and others. This is the group’s debut recording.

The CD is a classy album of tight, precise, funky harmonic fusion, the kind of music that one envisioned might have grown out of the classic sessions of Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul. It shows what can happen when solid musicians play an original repertoire that is written specifically for the group and constantly reworked over a period of two years. In his hands, Bethmann’s electric piano does not sound dated; its output is as fresh, current and crusty as a baguette. El Malek is creative, inventive, and imaginative; his ideas flow in a nearly uninterrupted stream. Interplay between the instruments is as smooth as brie.

So once again we have to hand it to the French. They certainly do have a way with our American art form...

Visit www.effendirecords.qc.ca


Track Listing: Volseau; K.I.S.S.; Ing

Personnel: Pierre de Bethmann (Fender Rhodes piano), David El Malek (tenor sax), Michael Felberbaum (guitar), Clovis Nicolas (bass), and Franck Agulhon (drums)

Title: Ilium Quintet | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Effendi Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Harlem" CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Graviton" CD/LP/Track Review Graviton
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends" CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Instinct" CD/LP/Track Review Instinct
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 12, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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