Hubert Dupont calls Kartet a "demanding yet exhilarating collective research. The group honed these skills during a year-long residency in Marseilles just after the group was formed. The drummer at the time was Benjamin Henocq, but Chander Sardjoe, who joined them in 1996, fits in just right.
The music is composed, but the freedom with which they ring it makes the impact. The constant invention of ideas gets off right from the start as they take on Thelonious Monk's "Misterioso. There is nothing Monkish about the make-up. Orti shapes the melody in his own frame on the alto saxophone, leaving Delbecq to insert the melody as a teaser and dart out. Dupont lays down a stout bass line as Sardjoe adds vibrant color, his accents flexed, the cymbals shimmering. All of this makes for a delectable appetizer for what is to come.
What comes rises gently, from the folds of interplay and invention. The quartet churns out little nuggets of delight as melodies float in and out of the body. Ideas are forged on the moment and given dimension with jazz harmonies adding to the atmosphere. "B + B is set up by Orti and Delbecq, a floating round of melody seeking a vantage point that it finds soon enough in the walking bass line of Dupont and the now-intense probing of Orti.
"Possib' profiles a more collaborative effort. Delbecq improvises with deliberation, creating motifs through a row of impressive patterns as he gradually ups the tempo. Orti gets on the edge of bop, cutting into the groove and twisting notes. "Iris with its new age feel is characterized by improvisation. Orti plays with a light sweetness against the deeper timbre of Dupont's arco. The contrast is engaging, further piqued when Orti frees the melody with broken lines and Sardjoe adds the final dynamic with a crisp splash on the cymbals.
Track Listing: Misterioso; Y; 21 Emanations (1.1); Kalle Gilli; Chrysalide / Imago; D