415

Christophe Wallemme: Start "So Many Ways..."

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Christophe Wallemme: Start "So Many Ways..."

Christophe Wallemme describes this effort as a "wink at the great standards of American jazz," a laudable objective but an affirmation that seems intended to confuse the listener. The explicit musical references on Start "So Many Ways..." point instead to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew rather than "Body and Soul" or "My Funny Valentine."  No matter.



Wallemme's previous record, the fine Namaste (Bee Jazz, 2006), drew upon the bassist's years in India to construct a mature work of cross-cultural jazz, accompanied by a big troupe of musicians. The new record is based on far more intimate musical settings—essentially a piano trio augmented on some cuts by saxophone or guitar—and has not a whiff of India about it.



If anything, one hears hints of Brazil in some of these tracks. The meditative "Picture in Black and White" is a barely disguised variation on the bossa nova classic "Portrait in Black and White."  Pianist Jozef Dumoulin's brief, tremulous solo contrasts nicely with Harold Danko's long-winded, sentimental one on Chet Baker's 1987 version of the Jobim original (Chet Baker in Tokyo, Evidence, 1996). Wallemme underlies the reworked tune with a kind of samba rhythm played backwards, a tactic familiar from Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage" (Maiden Voyage, Blue Note, 1965).



The same backward-samba pulse is distinguishable on the opening "Quartz," and on "Pharaon's Dance," evidently a nod to Miles Davis' "Pharaoh's Dance."  The Wallemme number appears to pay tribute not to the propulsive Davis composition, but to the trumpeter's soaring, architectural solo. This is also where saxophonist Julien Lourau has his best moment on the record.



On several tracks (though not, perhaps strangely, on the Bitches Brew-inspired composition, where you would most expect it), Dumoulin plays the Fender Rhodes; the best of these is the simmering "Today Perhaps."  Meanwhile, electric guitarist Manu Codjia, a standout veteran of Namaste, dependably casts aside all pretence of politeness when it is his turn to solo; that said, "Where Is My Way?," his duet with Wallemme, is quite tender.



Start "So Many Ways..." is an awkward title for a piece of work with no awkwardness about it.  Wallemme once again offers an album of conceptual sophistication and coherence in the company of a strong supporting cast.


Track Listing: Quartz; To Bee or Not to Bee; Portrait of Cendrine; Picture in Black and White; Wanted; Where Is My Way?; Today Perhaps; Pharaon's Dance; U-Turn; Certainly Tomorrow; U-Turn (Version 2).

Personnel: Christophe Wallemme: double bass, compositions, arrangements; Jozef Dumoulin: piano, Fender Rhodes, electronics; Dre Pallemaerts: drums; Julien Lourau: tenor and soprano saxophone (1, 4, 5, 8); Manu Codjia: guitar (2, 4, 5, 8).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Bee Jazz | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Wise After The Event - Deluxe Edition
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 23, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017
Read "In Denmark 1959-1960" CD/LP/Track Review In Denmark 1959-1960
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "Super Petite" CD/LP/Track Review Super Petite
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Dare To Be" CD/LP/Track Review Dare To Be
by David A. Orthmann
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "Echoes Of Europe" CD/LP/Track Review Echoes Of Europe
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 26, 2017

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!

Buy it!