Two percussionists, Sax and Tuba comprise Souffles, led by the brilliant Swiss drummer-composer, Pierre Favre. What an interesting concept?! Judging from the unorthodox instrumentation one could very well assume that this might be one of those free-jazz fests featuring inordinate doses of pounding drums and wild improvisational banter.... Not the case here.......Favre’s vision is nonetheless cohesive, vividly picturesque while showcasing his bright, cheerful compositions boasting engagingly memorable melodies along with razor-sharp ensemble work.
Pierre Favre can swing, improvise with the best or absorb the finer elements of world music while firmly planting his often-indelible stamp on matters in general. Here, Favre along with percussionist Lucas Niggli, Saxophonist Roberto Ottaviano and Tuba maestro, Michel Godard deliver the goods under the moniker, “Singing Drums” Yes, these drums sing! Favre and Niggli follow the melodies and/or thematic statements in unison often corresponding with the sonorous choruses provided by Ottaviano and Godard as in “Cabezas y Calabazas”. On “Erba Luce” the combined rhythmic development from Favre and Niggli segue into bouncy and affable melodies. Along with Godard’s fleet fingered tuba work, Ottaviano leads the sprightly yet jazzy direction while Favre and Niggli parallel the well-stated lyricism with nuance or fierce determination. “Singing Drums” quickly establish the groundwork as being a multidimensional band by way of Favre’s clever and alluring compositions and the ensemble’s passionate interplay. “Ritual To A Funeral” commences with slow dirge-like drumming which emits a somewhat eerie yet poignant atmosphere. On this piece, Godard and Ottaviano perform gorgeous well-stated choruses which rapidly evolve into moving, pensive and ultimately, very emotive motifs. More melodicism constructed around rhythmic movement is prominently demonstrated on “Que Bebe El Pez Del Marques” while Favre and Niggli turn up the heat with dazzling African rhythms on “Red Socks Dance”. On this piece Godard and Ottaviano engage in furious improvisation as Favre displays polyrhythmic fury behind the kit!
Pierre Favre’s compositions are upbeat, gleeful and remain fresh after repeated listens. Souffles is an outstanding release from Swiss-based Intakt records who rarely release anything which could be considered sub-par. Souffles is one of those rare works of art which dispels misguided conceptions from those who feel that drummers occupy limited roles in musical development. This one is a gem!!!! * * * * *
Pierre Favre; Percussion: Lucas Niggli; Percussion: Roberto Ottaviano; Saxophones; Michel Godard; Tuba, Serpent.
Cadence/North Country distributes in North America
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.