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Identical twin brothers François and Louis Moutin know a lot about a lot of things. Theirs is a story that would give any parent room to mutter aloud with mixed emotions. While their mother played piano and guitar for the developing twins, their father taught them to enjoy his vast jazz record collection. François learned to play guitar and moved to bass at age 9. Louis learned to play piano and moved to drums at age 20. But they followed their parents' advice with regard to material educational goals. By 1986, Louis had his Master's in Mathematics and François had a Ph.D. in Physics. After graduation, however, they turned to jazz full-time. The twins worked with notable French jazz artists such as Martial Solal and Michel Portal. They grew apart, professionally, in 1996, when one brother moved to New York.
Most of this reunion program was composed by the Moutin brothers. Theirs is an exciting form of jazz that derives from the mainstream and digs deeply into emotional force. Hence, the title: Power Tree. Their natural empathy enables both to anticipate improvised changes in volume and intensity. The bassist loves a clear melody and the drummer assumes his responsibility for rhythm. Sylvain Beuf, an adequate saxophonist, accepts a feature role through much of the album. His tenor, in particular, provides a major part of the quartet's spirit. Pianist Baptiste Trotignon shares in the excitement with clear passion. Theirs is good, clean, straight-ahead jazz with no gimmicks or corny ideas. As a top-ten album of the year, this one comes highly recommended.
Track Listing: La Vie en Rose; Free Climbing; Africa; Flying Bridge; Toutes Directions; Je M'suis Fait Tout P'tit; Les Copains D'abord/Le Gorille; A Batons Rompus; Song for a Cat.
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.