312

Christophe Wallemme: Namaste

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Christophe Wallemme: Namaste The achievement of Namaste—and it is a genuine achievement—is also the achievement of Miles Davis's In a Silent Way (Columbia, 1969): namely, providing room to breathe in a crowded room of musicians—soloists all, not a big band. (On Miles's subsequent Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1969), in contrast, a crowded room of musicians was happy to sound like a hot and tumultuous marketplace.) Despite the carefully-crafted compositions and arrangements, it's that sumptuous but spacious sound fabric that is most remarkable about this record.

That sonic fabric is woven around a combination of the leader's bass, the Edouard brothers' Indian percussion, Nelson Veras's Brazilian guitar and Emmanuel Codjia's electric guitar—all of these elements are nicely highlighted on the title track. The tablas and other Indian percussion elements, featured in a bracing workout in the middle of "Tandoori Groove, are not merely seasoning or accents, but an integral part of the music's character. The compositions themselves feature convincing Indian melodic lines, bearing witness to Wallemme's long years of residence there.

Guitarist Codjia contributes a vigorous solo on "Reflection, against a consistently exciting accompaniment by Wallemme and drummer Galland. While Codjia deploys brash rock-influence coloratura on that cut, elsewhere he opts for the shimmering, atmospheric washes. In a crowded room of soloists, Codjia stands out.

If there is a shortcoming to Namaste, it is paradoxically the embarrassment of riches constituted by its musical resources. Like a Russian novel with lots of characters, each with his or her own panoply of names, nicknames and patronymics, it's sometimes hard to keep straight who's talking here. The electric guitarist has at least two voices (one frenzied, the other Frisell-like), the trio of reeds play a variety of instruments among them; someone—Veras?—has an affecting lute-like intervention on "Stone Cutter. The multitude of voices certainly prevents the record from boring the listener—not that there was much risk of that happening—but it also prevents the listener from becoming adequately acquainted with any of the soloists' musical personalities, with the possible exception of Codjia.

Like many bassist-leaders (Steve Swallow, Gary Peacock, perhaps even Mingus), Wallemme the bassist remains somewhat in the background on this record, though he has some noteworthy solos (on "Le temps des moussons," and elsewhere). To his credit, though, Wallemme the arranger, composer and bandleader makes his presence felt in every note.

Track Listing: Holi; Mon Jules; Namaste; Le temps des moussons; Tandoori Groove; Sweet Aum; Reflection; Stone Cutter; Trouble Time; Diwali; La Javanaise.

Personnel: Christophe Wallemme: double bass, composition & arrangements; St

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Bee Jazz | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "The Traveller's Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Traveller's Tale
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 17, 2017
Read "Madjafalao" CD/LP/Track Review Madjafalao
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Windmills" CD/LP/Track Review Windmills
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "IZA" CD/LP/Track Review IZA
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Troy Collins
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain" CD/LP/Track Review So Beautiful, It Starts To Rain
by John Sharpe
Published: December 11, 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!