4

Nicolas Kummert: La Diversité

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Belgian saxophonist Nicolas Kummert has been influenced by African music since a two month stay in Senegal at the age of 17, where he collaborated with musicians from that country and later from Benin, Mali, Kenya, Sao Tomé, Morocco and Tunisia. He met award-winning Blue Note guitarist Lionel Loueke during a recording session for Beninese singer Patrick Ruffino in 2008 and by 2015 Kummert had asked Loueke to join his new band. His previous album Voices (2014), featured Senegalese guitarist Hervé Sambe. Another recent recording was 2015's Flow with a quartet going by the name of Drifter, which he co-led with the Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila.

Whilst Kummert's carefully crafted compositions and serpentine saxophone lines are absolutely key to La Diversité it's Loueke's subtle contributions which propel it to the next level. Whilst Loueke has a proclivity for understatement in a similar vein to Bill Frisell, he is equally capable of delivering more raucous expositions such as heard on the rocky "We'll Be Alright," immediately countered by its diametrically opposite acoustic version, "And What If We're Not." Loueke seamlessly moves from electric to acoustic guitar, employing bell like harmonics on "Le Vent Se Lève" and gentle finger picking on "Le Peuple De L'Arc-En-Ciel."

As a duo, evidenced by the Eric Satie-based "Gnossienne A Deux," Kummert and Loueke recall the near-magical teamwork of Jimmy Giuffre and Jim Hall. The poignancy of two versions of Leonard Cohen's hit song "Hallelujah" (and an acoustic "Hallelujah Again") played respectively by the quartet and duo, is emphasised by the typically delicate treatment afforded the pieces. From the West African staccato feel of "Rainbow People" to the languid sultriness of "Diversity Over Purity" this album is mesmeric and innovative, replete with fresh ideas and sounds.

Track Listing: Rainbow People; Le Vent Se Lève; Harmattan; Lighthouse; Hallelujah; Gnossienne; Gnossienne A Deux; Liberté; Le Peuple De L'Arc-En-Ciel; La Terre Ne Ment Pas; Diversity Over Purity; We'll Be Alright; And What If We're Not? Hallelujah Again - In Memory Of Leonard Cohen.

Personnel: Nicolas Kummert: tenor saxophone; Lionel Loueke: guitar; Nicolas Thys: double bass; Karl Jannuska: drums.

Title: La Diversité | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Edition Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Serenade for Horace" CD/LP/Track Review Serenade for Horace
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Isang" CD/LP/Track Review Isang
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Mission Cimbalom" CD/LP/Track Review Mission Cimbalom
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 7, 2017
Read "Calvins Toboggan" CD/LP/Track Review Calvins Toboggan
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Testimony" CD/LP/Track Review Testimony
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "June" CD/LP/Track Review June
by John Sharpe
Published: March 18, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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