All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Hubert Dupont: Smart Grid

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
French bassist and composer Hubert Dupont has been mixing music and political activism since his Sabil Trio played at the Institute of the Arab World in 2013. That event served as the inspiration for Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 1 (2016) and Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2 (2017), both on the Ultrabolic label. His blend of Arab music and jazz on those releases is part of his broader musical reach, extending to the influences of Africa, Eastern European music and spoken word. Dupont's new quartet on Smart Grid returns to a focus on Western jazz and unbridled improvisation.

Dupont's free-playing quartets date back ten years to when he had included altoist Rudresh Mahanthappa in his otherwise French outing Spider's Dance (Ultrabolic, 2007). The bassist has also been a sideman for Robin Eubanks and Steve Lacy. He is joined by Denis Guivarc'h on alto saxophone who is best known as a long-time member of the Magic Malik Orchestra and has worked with Steve Coleman, Louis Moutin and many top European artists. Pianist Yvan Robilliard has received some training from Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock and recorded four albums as a soloist or co-leader. Drummer Pierre Mangeard has recorded with the French and Senegalese Toukouleur Orchestra.

Smart Grid consists of six original Dupont compositions, recorded live at the Jacques Brel Room in 2017. "Greed" opens with an extended bass solo before giving way to an energized improvisation that spotlights each member of the quartet as an introduction. Dupont picks up the bow to begin "Eoliane," a darker, more portentous opening giving way to the lift of an uninhibited alto interlude. The piece changes course again as Robilliard's melodic piano solo slows the process down to near minimalism. "Helliptic" and "Wonder" are a bit more straightforward, but not without a sizable share of inventiveness. "Recondition" is the most abstract piece in the collection and sets up like-minded access to the long closing number "Pendulair," featuring a blistering Mangeard solo.

The challenge of Smart Grid, especially for listeners more familiar with his trio, sextet or the recent Golan/Al Joulan albums, is to abandon preconceived notions of the composer's pursuit of a strict globalist viewpoint. Even with an underlying concept of renewable resources built in, Dupont reminds listeners that, first and foremost, he is an improvisor. Surrounded here by an equally talented band, he delivers an unpredictable, and unconventional program full of surprises.

Track Listing: Greed; Eoliane; Helliptic; Wonder; Recondition; Pendulair.

Personnel: Hubert Dupont: double bass; Denis Guivarc'h: saxophone; Yvan Robilliard: piano; Pierre Mangeard: drums.

Title: Smart Grid | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ultrabolic

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "Chapter 2" CD/LP/Track Review Chapter 2
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Elker" CD/LP/Track Review Elker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 13, 2018
Read "New Standards" CD/LP/Track Review New Standards
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Bethany Project" CD/LP/Track Review Bethany Project
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour: The...
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 16, 2018