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)

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Effendi Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "As it Was" CD/LP/Track Review As it Was
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Chance Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review Chance Meeting
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Confirmation" CD/LP/Track Review Confirmation
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!