61

Jerome Sabbagh featuring Jozef Dumoulin: Plugged In

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Jerome Sabbagh featuring Jozef Dumoulin: Plugged In Plugged In is an immensely appealing record and an artistic success. The source of that success is the revelatory combination of the highly individual—and at first blush, not necessarily compatible—sounds of saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh and keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin.

Sabbagh has had a string of critically-acclaimed albums, notably including North (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2005) and Pogo (Sunnyside, 2007), both of which featured guitarist Ben Monder. On these and other records, Sabbagh comes across as a poster child for the enduring relevance and fresh possibilities of the straight-ahead, mainstream jazz approach (on the more recent I Will Follow You (Bee Jazz, 2010), with Monder and drummer Daniel Humair, Sabbagh ventures bravely into freer pastures, but nevertheless tends to play the straight man).

Sabbagh's tenor has a touch of Ben Webster's sweetness and quite a bit of Stan Getz's forthright clarity. The most remarkable element of his playing on Plugged In is the shape of his phrases, the meticulous attention paid to rhythm, timing and space in his solos, as well as melody; in this regard, Sabbagh is a true heir to the bold post-bop architectural genius of Sonny Rollins.

Pianist Dumoulin gets second billing, but his contribution to the record's success is every bit as important as Sabbagh's. Dumoulin's recent Rainbow Body (Bee Jazz, 2011) revealed an anarchic pianist, one who uses varying pitch and distortion the way an acoustic pianist would use dynamics to enliven a solo or add color to accompaniment. If anything, he sounds even more joyfully irreverent in the best of his solos on Plugged In ("Ur," "Jeli," "City Dawn"). Dumoulin's sound is worlds apart from Sabbagh's "Sonny at the Village Vanguard" vibe, but shares with the saxophonist a solid commitment to the collective enterprise.

The compositions are generally quite strong. They range from tender ballads ("Ronny") to blues ("Minor") to ersatz Latin jazz you might expect from Ornette Coleman's Prime Time ("Jeli," "Kasbah"). The most affecting are generally penned by Sabbagh and have the earnest soulfulness of the best Chris Potter Underground tracks.

Sabbagh and Dumoulin are ably backed by the electric bass and drums of Patrice Blanchard and Rudy Royston respectively. Royston's churning drum solo on "Ur"—a kind of Ur-rhythm, indeed—is only the most obvious of his excellent contributions.

This potentially ill-suited pairing has likely created one of 2012's finest and most eminently satisfying releases.

Track Listing: Drive; Special K; Aisha; Jeli; Ronny; Walk 6; Ur; Minor; Rider; Boulevard Carnot; City Dawn; Walk 3 bis; Kasbah; Slow Rock Ballad.

Personnel: Jerome Sabbagh: tenor saxophone; Jozef Dumoulin: keyboards; Patrice Blanchard: electric bass; Rudy Royston: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Bee Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Transcience" CD/LP/Track Review Transcience
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 14, 2016
Read "Without All the Chatter" CD/LP/Track Review Without All the Chatter
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 7, 2017
Read "That Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review That Feelin'
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "The Expanding Universe" CD/LP/Track Review The Expanding Universe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Serpentines" CD/LP/Track Review Serpentines
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 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!