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Grenoble-born keyboardist Matthieu Marthouret started playing the Hammond organ as a way of covering for bass players' absence from rehearsals. It became one of his favorite instruments, leading to the formation of the Matthieu Marthouret Organ Quartet in 2007 and then to the establishment of the Bounce Trio. Small Streams...Big Rivers is the first album from that outfit, an organ/tenor/drums triumvirate.
On Small Streams...Big Rivers the Bounce Trio performs original tunes by Marthouret and saxophonist Toine Thys alongside a trio of covers. The band opens "This Guy's In Love With You" with a few seconds of free-form noodling before Burt Bacharach's familiar melody emerges. From then on the song gets a mostly straightforward readingloose, lounge-y in a Murph And The Magictones sort of way (tongues may be in cheeks for much of this rendition). Beck Hansen's "Tropicalia" is tight, retaining the tempo of the original while sax and organ share the vocal line. Stevie Wonder's "Visions" also stays pretty faithful to the originalalthough it's possibly the only tune here that misses the presence of a double bass, given the lovely bass lines of Wonder's own version.
Thys' "Star Animal" and "Years" mix his straight-ahead tenor sax with Marthouret's swinging keyboards. Marthouret's own tunes range from the slow, mournful "Prelude En Ut Mineur" to the bop-ish urgency of "Joe." "Six For Bill" gives a big hint as to its time signature, but Bill remains unidentified.
The pairing of tenor sax and keyboards gives the music a warmth: Marthouret favors a rich, rounded, tone and Thys' tenor sound has just enough of an edge to ensure that the pair complement each other. Gautier Garrigue's drumming is consistently excellent. His playing is full of energy and imagination, more than justifying the "Bounce" of "Bounce Four" and "Bounce Neuf."
Track Listing: This Guy's In Love With You; Star Animal; Years; Tropicalia; Prelude En Ut Mineur; Bounce Four; Joe; Visions; Six For Bill; Bounce Neuf.
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.