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Le Boeuf Deux Fois: Pascal's Triangle and Le Boeuf Brothers Remixed

Dan Bilawsky By

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The Le Boeuf Brothers—saxophonist Remy Le Boeuf and pianist Pascal—don't box themselves into a jazz corner; or, perhaps it should be said that they don't box jazz into a corner, preferring instead to let it marinate in the juices of the present, where it can absorb new flavors and move in different directions.

Both men are highly capable musicians who can throw down some serious straight ahead sounds, but they don't always feel the need to do so.

Sonic lines in the sand are nowhere to be found in their world, which liberally mixes DJ culture archetypes with a more jazz-minded approach to creation. These two releases—an acoustic trio project from Pascal and an album of remixes billed to both brothers—are contrasting outings that nevertheless prove complementary to one another, as they give cause to pause and admire the open-mindedness of the Le Boeuf Brothers.

Pascal Le Boeuf

Pascal's Triangle

Nineteen-Eight Records

2013

The music on this album was originally intended to serve as the template for a project that merged jazz with electronic influences. Layered recording ideals and after-the-fact electro-tweaking were to be used to alter the original product, but Pascal Le Boeuf recognized that the music has such a distinct personality in its pure form, and he put those plans on hold; he still intends to go ahead with the original idea, but he saw fit to put this out first, and with good reason: Le Boeuf, bassist Linda May Han Oh and drummer Justin Brown play acoustic jazz like conjoined musical triplets, pulling and pushing against one another while operating with extreme empathy.

By modern day standards, this is only half an album, as it clocks in under the 33-minute mark, but it doesn't lack for anything other than time. Le Boeuf and company conjure complex spirits and simple spells and, more impressively, manage to rectify the two. Some songs serve as travelogues, moving from comfort to confusion and back again ("Home In Strange Places"), while others evolve in kaleidoscopic fashion ("Variations On A Mood"). Relative calm ("Song For Ben Van Gelder") gives way to broken staccato groove machinery ("What Your Teacher...") as the album unfolds. Thrilling three-ways are part and parcel of Le Boeuf's plan, but the calmness of one also comes to the surface on occasion ("Jess Holds Louise" and "Return To You") during this short, but wholly satisfying album.

Le Boeuf Brothers

Le Boeuf Brothers Remixed

Nineteen-Eight Records

2013

This album is as much a showcase for the Le Boeuf Brothers' remix collaborators as it is for them. Aural decoupage colors this entire production, as guests graft their own personalities onto the Le Bouef sound, if such a thing exists.

Yellow Then Blue's skittering "Red Velvet" paints a pure electronica picture as the album gets underway, but the music takes a turn toward the past with an '80s-sounding electro-ballad built by Pascal and singer/songwriter Emily Greene ("For Every Kiss"). Disorienting blends beckon as the journey continues ("Around/Fire Dance"), and the purity of Pascal's piano shines through as Armand Hirsch drapes electro-fringe around some of his haunting finger work ("Everything You Love Intro").

While many of the people attached to this project may be unfamiliar to those in the jazz world that don't set foot in DJ land, a few familiar names pop up. Drummer Jochen Rueckert, working under the name Wolff Parkinson White, delivers a track with a whole host of ghosts in the machine ("Everything You Love"), and bassist-cum-sonic sculptor Tim Lefebvre builds a soundscape that marries the eerie, the industrial and the trippy. Saxophonist-turned-remix man David Binney delivers one of the most surprising tracks of all, which moves from trance-inducing minimalism to hip hop, with some help from rapper Nickel Killsmics.

All of these tracks help to raise the personality profiles of those remixing them, but the root of all sounds leads back to the Le Boeuf Brothers, who also take turns mixing their own music. Their personalities are always at the center of these mini-musical universes in one way or another.

Tracks and Personnel

Pascal's Triangle

Tracks: Home In Strange Places; Variations On Mood; Song For Ben Van Gelder; What Your Teacher...; Jess Holds Louise; The Key; Revisiting A Past Self; Return To You.

Personnel: Pascal Le Boeuf: piano; Linda Oh: bass; Justin Brown: drums.

Le Boeuf Brothers Remixed

Tracks: Red Velvet (Yellow Then Blue Remix); For Every Kiss (Kissy Girls Remix); Around/Fire Dancing (Pascal mashup, feat. Louis Cole & Genevieve Artadi); Everything You Love Intro (Armand Hirsch Remix); Everything You Love (Lucky Luke Remix); In The Shadow Of Your Silence (Remy LeBoeuf Remix}; Everything You Love (Wolff Parkinson White Remix); Calgary Clouds (Tim Lefebvre Remix, feat. Louis Cole); Fading Apart (David Binney Remix, feat. Nickel Killsmics & Nina Geiger); Green Velvet (Pascal Remix).

Personnel: Pascal Le Boeuf: vocals, piano; Emily Greene: vocals (2); Genevieve Artadi: vocals (3); Louis Cole: drums (3, 8); Remy Le Boeuf: alto saxophone, flute, Fender Rhodes (6); Nickel Killsmic: vocals; Nina Geiger: vocals (9); David Binney: vocals (9).

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