Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!


Didier Verna: Roots and Leaves

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Don't judge a book a book by its cover or a recording by its first track. "Old Times" is certainly that, a paean to the swinging age of the Quintet of the Hot Club of France and guitarist Didier Verna displays his considerable talent with a nimble solo, as do each of the other members of the quartet.

In the true tradition of Mony Python, "Circulocentrique" is something completely different. This is a tasteful funky blues workout, again with some gripping guitar. The elegant ballad "Coconette" has an engaging melody and shows that—as with all the selections on this disc—Verna is clearly capable of composing solid, memorable tunes.

"Hints, Tips, Tricks 'n Cheats" starts with collective improvisation but settles into something more organised and fast moving, with Verna displaying considerable skill on fretless guitar. "Vert de Blues" is a straight ahead rapid-fire track as is the subsequent track "Monday Morning" replete with a jaunty melody.

Proceedings slow down for the more reflective "Petite Mort," Yoni Zelnik contributing a fine bass solo and this pace paradoxically allows Verna's solo to make more impact. "Mister Crusoe" is an outing for Verna's guitar synthesizer with interesting results because he's not afraid to employ it in a more conventional way as opposed to attempting to extract the most unconventional sounds from the instrument, as seems to be the fashion with this instrument.

"Minor Nuisance" harks back to the swinging sound of "Old Times" and indeed its near-titled progenitor "Minor Swing," the standard by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. "Maroc" is a breezy composition in a moderate tempo and again Verna is heard soloing on guitar synthesizer.

As it says on the tin, "YYAB" is indeed yet another blues (but why the extra "Y"?) and gives both Verna and Laurent Epstein the opportunity for some satisfying solos. The final, bonus track, a reprise of "Coconette," reveals Verna in a totally new light, here playing unaccompanied acoustic guitar. A decidedly excellent, albeit short, track.

Track Listing: Old Times; Circulocentrique; Coconette; Hints, Tips, Tricks ’n Cheats; Vert de Blues; Monday Morning; Petite Mort; Mister Crusoe; Minor Nuisance; Maroc; YYAB.

Personnel: Didier Verna: guitar; Laurent Epstein: piano; Yoni Zelnik: bass; David Georgelet: drums.

Title: Roots And Leaves | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Alleviation CD/LP/Track Review Alleviation
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Last Minute Panic CD/LP/Track Review Last Minute Panic
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Murphy CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Haberdashery CD/LP/Track Review Haberdashery
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Song of the Silver Geese CD/LP/Track Review Song of the Silver Geese
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 18, 2017
Read Live at Kolarac CD/LP/Track Review Live at Kolarac
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "It Will Come" CD/LP/Track Review It Will Come
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "In The Past" CD/LP/Track Review In The Past
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 2, 2017
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Door Girl" CD/LP/Track Review Door Girl
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Then and Now" CD/LP/Track Review Then and Now
by Duncan Heining
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Signs" CD/LP/Track Review Signs
by Doug Collette
Published: September 10, 2017

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!