170

Moutin Reunion Quartet: Something Like Now

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Moutin Reunion Quartet: Something Like Now When twin brothers François and Louis Moutin brought their Moutin Reunion Quartet to this year's Ottawa International Jazz Festival, it was one of those surprise performances that created an immediate buzz amongst festival-goers. The intensely powerful quartet played with the kind of total engagement that grabbed the audience from the first note. While most people didn't know who the Moutin Reunion Quartet was walking into the show, it's a sure bet that they'll be remembering them for a long time to come.

The quartet's performance—which also featured newcomer/pianist Pierre de Bethmann and tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza (a Miles Davis alumnus who moved to Paris a couple of years back and has been with the group since their second release, '04's Red Moon)—focused almost exclusively on new material from Something Like Now, once again a showcase for drummer Louis and bassist François' strong contemporary writing and the kind of simpatico interaction and uncanny intuition between them that makes indisputable the argument for twins sharing a special connection.

While the Moutin Reunion Quartet is an all-acoustic affair—with the exception of the occasional Fender Rhodes work by Bethmann—the influence of Jaco-era Weather Report is strong, in particular the complex detailing of Wayne Shorter's best writing for that group. And yet, the execution is so effortless and the grooves so unassailable that the elaborate foundations are truly invisible until you pay close attention. And, despite the inherent challenge of the material, there's also room for the kind of interpretive spontaneity that makes for an invigorating listen throughout.

Louis' paradoxically-named modal burner "Take It Easy" finds the brothers lighting a fire beneath Margitza's explosive solo, but they also realize that it's necessary to pace an album, doing so with François' gentle ballad, "Surrendering," an evocative vehicle for the tender side of Margitza and Bethmann—whose accompaniment is sparse but wonderfully supportive. As in performance, the brothers deliver a bass/drums duet, in this case "Bird's Medley," cleverly piecing together a number of Charlie Parker themes that finishes off with "Donna Lee"—and is an impressive alternative to the late electric bassist Jaco Pastorius' duet of the same piece with percussionist Don Alias, from his '76 self-titled debut album.

What distinguishes the music of the Moutin Reunion Quartet is how it can be tightly arranged and yet completely openended at the same time. Louis' funky album closer, "Touch and Go," may revolve around strict form, but the group can seamlessly shift gears—sometimes begging the question whether it's spontaneous or prearranged—preventing them from ever being predictable. And while formidable chops abound, none of the players demonstrate any superfluous excess. Every well-constructed solo works as both self-contained entity and part of a greater collective.

With consistently outstanding playing, creative writing, and unabashed interplay, Something Like Now demonstrates the Moutin Reunion Quartet's clear evolution since Red Moon. It deserves the kind of exposure that this, their first album with major US distribution by WEA, will hopefully bring.

Track Listing: Something Like Now - Part 1; Something Like Now - Part 2; Bird's Medley; Take It Easy; Surrendering; M.R.C.; Tomcat; Echoing; Bottom Line - Part 1; Bottom Line - Part 2; Touch and Go.

Personnel: François Moutin: acoustic upright bass, composition; Louis Moutin: drums, composition; Pierre de Bethmann: piano, fender rhodes; Rick Margitza: tenor saxophone.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Nocturne | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Adam's Apple CD/LP/Track Review Adam's Apple
by Greg Simmons
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Dreamsville CD/LP/Track Review Dreamsville
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 26, 2017
Read April CD/LP/Track Review April
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Small World CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read High Time CD/LP/Track Review High Time
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 26, 2017
Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Illuminations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings" CD/LP/Track Review The Fever: The Remastered Epic Recordings
by Doug Collette
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Special Kay!" CD/LP/Track Review Special Kay!
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!