Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

265

Magali Souriau Trio: Petite Promenade

Joshua Weiner By

Sign in to view read count
Nowadays, jazz artists release records less frequently than they once did, and partly because of this, each new album takes on an air of supposed (and usually record-company suggested) “importance” that often undercuts the music. I’ve mentioned previously my irritation with the proliferation of “theme” records, as if one has to have a special angle to get anyone to listen to new jazz.

Petite Promenade, the new Fresh Sound recording by pianist Magali Souriau, saxophonist Chris Cheek and bassist Matt Pavolka dispenses with any such pretension, harking back to the days when sympathetic musicians could simply get together for a casual session to cut some tunes, without sending out a press release. It succeeds admirably on its own terms and is an utterly enjoyable collection of wistful jazz with a knotty rhythmic undercurrent.

Souriau’s five compositions are lovely, and for every one that slips perhaps a bit too far into George Winston territory (the title track), there are others that smoothly marry classical poise to bluesy phrasing (the delightfully titled “Ahmad Ravel/Au Clair De La Lune” and “Hommage To Dollar Brand”). It is on the versions of tunes by the likes of Monk, Ellington, and Nat Adderley that the trio really works up a swinging groove.

So intrinsic to Monk’s compositions is his idiosyncratic style that tackling his songs is difficult for pianists: they usually either too-closely ape his distinctive intervals and attack, or they sand down the edges so that their original spirit is lost. Souriau happily threads the needle on “Ask Me Now” and a brief solo “Reflections,” retaining Monk’s angularity while deftly mixing in some rhythmic and harmonic ideas of her own.

A burning “Caravan” is another highlight here, with nice playing by Cheek and Pavolka, and interesting dissonant comping by Souriau. Kurt Weill’s “Speak Low” is driven along by Pavolka’s bass figures and features some great solo work by Cheek, who adopts a soft, Getz-like tone here. As on other Fresh Sounds, the saxophonist impresses with his ability to adapt and play well in any context; he’s one to watch, to be sure.

Jaded ears weary of being let down by some star’s latest “big statement” will rejoice in this small album, a timely reminder that for good jazz, spirit, tunes, and sheer joy will suffice.


Track Listing: When the Snow; Ahmad Ravel / Au Clair de la Lune; Speak Low; Ask Me Now; Hommage to Dollar Brand; Petite Promenade; Gnossienne; Caravan; Deep Slow; Reflections; Tease Me but Please Don't Squeeze Me, Even if I got it Bad (medley); Estate; One For Daddy-O; I'm Through with Love

Personnel: Magali Souriau, piano; Chris Cheek, saxophones; Matt Pavolka, bass

Title: Petite Promenade | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Moon

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Ella Lives" CD/LP/Track Review Ella Lives
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Double Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Double Mirror
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Cub(an)ism" CD/LP/Track Review Cub(an)ism
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 17, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin" CD/LP/Track Review Beninghove's Hangmen Plays Led Zeppelin
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 23, 2017