Matt Cibula, writing for All About Jazz, wondered in his review of French drummer Olivier Le Goas' Gravitation (Altrisuoni, 2007): "Who the heck is Olivier Le Goas...?" indicating perhaps a paucity of information about the leader, even in this day of Internet info overload. Nine years later there still isn't much on-line scoop about the man. So we go with the music.
Gravitation, an all-star quartet affair featuring guitarist John Abercrombie, trumpeter Ralph Alessi and bassist Drew Gress, had an ECM Records vibe (no surprise, given the players) with a flowing, less that Earth gravity atmosphere and a smooth momentum.
Reciprocity the recording at hand, is also a quartet effort, featuring the marvelous high profile pianist Kevin Hays, joined bassist Phil Donkin and guitarist Nir Felder, along with the leader behind the drum kit. The piano/guitar front line weaves a tight rhythm. There are clean unison lines and an inspired trading of solos. Guitarist Felder crafts a resonant, full-bodied sound; pianist Hays has a looser approach, and the collective effect is a modern jazz/precision chamber/ groove-centric music, reminiscent ofwith its own distinctive personalitythe Pat Metheny Unity Group, minus the electronics and synths and the orchestrion.
In spite of the chamber approach, Le Goas has a distinctive, full-of-surprises, off-kilter drumming style, one that enhances and punctuates with exclamation points the lubricious flow of this unfailingly engaging music.
Track Listing: Corners; Main Street; Since I Know; Curves And Colors; Day Home; Call; Cecile; Evision.
Personnel: Olivier Le Goas: drums; Nir Felder: guitar; Kevin Hays: piano; Phil Donkin: bass.
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