The French trio Derby Derby consists of Alan Regardin on electrified trumpet, drummer Fabrice L'houtellier and bassist Sylvain Didou. Their debut album Love Dance
was recorded in Nantes, France in late 2016, several months after the three first musicians met. Through the intersection of jazz, ambience and noise, the music works reiteration, beat and tone into and unanticipated lavishness.
The group members are not strangers to cross-pollinating styles. Regardin has played in the French group Pang Pung Bleu le Bleu
(Pangpung Records, 2011) who mixed Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and ambient sounds. L'houtelliera recent conservatory graduatehas participated in a broad range of endeavors from composing musical fables, electro-slam rock and improvised music. Bassist/composer Sylvain Didou, a graduate of Denmark's Esbjerg Conservatory is well immersed in improvisational music, jazz and world music. He co-leads a number of groups, the best known of which is Oblik.
The presentation is the single, title track played out just over one half hour and seamlessly divided between the "Love" and "Dance" concepts. After an introduction that consists of an extended electrified trumpet note held with only slight modification for two-thirds of the piece -the approximate length of the "Love" section of the two-parts. Didou's bass, which sounds to be bowed much of the time, maintains a relentless contour, shifting almost imperceptibly, much as L'houtellier's beat wavers only in a nuanced manner. Approximately twenty-minutes in, the theme shifts to "Dance," the tempo quickens and the trumpet undulates frenetically as L'houtellier accelerates into a rock beat.Love Dance
has a shifty way of disguising an envisioned sense of manipulating time even in the face of obsessive beats and elements of trance. While the extended techniques of the trumpet, repetitive bass and percussion lose their jazz quality early on, there is a harmonic lushness that builds over time and seriously kicks in with the second segment. For anyone who appreciates Nate Wooley
's The Almond
(Pogus, 2012) or his Argonautica
(Firehouse 12 Records, 2016), Love Dance
furthers some of that remarkable technique with new forward-thinking ideas. A very interesting and engrossing album.