Benoit Delbecq 3: Ink

Glenn Astarita By

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Berlin-based bassist Miles Perkin handles the duties previously held by revered French bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel (Steve Lacy, Pharoah Sanders) who passed away in 2014. Therefore, this enterprising piano trio led by Frenchman Benoit Delbecq surges forward with the similar level of ingenuity conveyed on The Sixth Jump (Songlines, 2010). In addition, Congolese drummer Emile Biayenda intersperses a world music vibe during various tracks while seamlessly integrating a tightknit jazz component into the mix. On a side note, famed pianist Fred Hersch who paired with Delbecq in the Double Trio band's Fun House (Songlines, 2013) penned the album notes.

These days' jazz piano trios seemingly sprout up at a rapid pace amid an air of sameness that sometimes pervade via the tried and true inferences to Bill Evans, Monk and other greats. However, Delbecq and associates duly extend their reach into other musical landscapes. The band's non-formulaic processes shine radiantly, whether they execute subtle, odd-metered grooves and African percussion metrics on "Le Ruisseau" or jazz it up into the free bop realm and dig deep in concert with supple diversions and linear progressions.

Delbecq often offsets and heightens the rhythmic excursions while remaining busy and productive throughout. The trio's visceral alignment is a lustrous attribute as they morph beauty, power and finesse with start/stop type developments and continually renew and expand themes on "Figures." Yet the band enacts a U-turn with "Ink," where Delbecq's animated phrasings help counterbalance Perkin's bulging ostinato motifs as the band builds momentum along with the leader's sophisticated melody-making overtures. Needless to state, it's not your everyday, plain old vanilla jazz piano trio as air of excitement and intrigue floats above the artists' shrewdly formulated applications.

Track Listing

Le Ruisseau; Ronchamp; Three Clouds; Nombre; Colle et Acrylique; L'esprythme; Family Trees; Figures; Ink; Hemisphère Suo.


Benoît Delbecq: piano; Miles Perkin: double bass; Emile Biayenda: drums & percussion.

Album information

Title: Ink | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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