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Must it be pointed out that François and Louis Moutin are twins? Admittedly, it is a novelty to see these two handsome Gallic faces mirror-image each other in live performance, and on a special DVD side of Sharp Turns, by their Moutin Reunion Quartet. But live with them a little and it will become apparent that these multi-talented gentlemen are also singular individuals linked by a common passion, not unlike other committed jazz musicians who have played together for a long, albeit very long, time. These self-taught offspring of jazz fans have been playing together since childhood. And "playing" is the operative word. Making jazz in the early days was unadulterated fun. "A game, as the two explained in a useful interview with journalist Neil Tesser on this CD/DVD package.
Their current playfulness is obvious in the rambunctious and inventive "Trane's Medley." The rhythmic elements of this satisfying improvisational romp off Coltrane are strictly "hand-made," with Louis fingering his drums while the bowless François viscerally handles the bass, both coaxing unusual sounds from their instruments. The lighthearted and infectious joy was on display in December, 2007 at a CD release celebration at Greenwich Village's Cachaça, where the brothers were joined, as on the CD, by Moutin Reunion Quartet regulars, the versatile American-born Rick Margitza on tenor and resourceful French pianist Pierre de Bethmann.
For those who can't sample the Moutins live, the DVD portion of the dual packagecaptured during a January 2007 show at Chicago's Skokie Theatershowcases original compositions by François and Louis including "Bird's Medley," a tribute to Charlie Parker, and other pieces from their previous Moutin Reunion Quartet recording Something Like Now (Nocturne, 2005).
Other standouts from the new albumalso excellently realized during the energetic and seriously (and humorously) intense opening set of the two-night run at Cachaçainclude the title track, a rousing, fully engaging modern work by François; "A Blue Dream from Louis, with a lovely solo by son frère and Louis' catchy, swinging "Kuki's Dance."
Track Listing: CD: The Speech; Kukiís Dance; Traneís Medley; A Good Move; Time Apart; Two Hits on the N.J.T.P.; A Blue Dream; Sharp Turns. DVD: Take It Easy; Echoing; Birdís Medley; Surrendering; Something Like Now.
Personnel: FranÁois Moutin: upright acoustic bass, composition; Louis Moutin: drums, composition; Rick Margitza: tenor saxophone (CD#1, CD#2, CD#4-8, DVD#1, DVD#2, DVD#4, DVD#5); Pierre de Bethmann: piano (CD#1, CD#2, CD#4-8, DVD#1, DVD#2, DVD#4, DVD#5); Fender Rhodes (CD#1, CD#2, CD#4, CD#6, DVD#1, DVD#2, DVD#4, DVD#5); vocals (CD#1).
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.