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...

371

St Germain: Tourist

By

Sign in to view read count
Picking a favorite album each year is an exhausting emotional process and always creates much controversy within my mind and this year was no exception. Picking a favorite album is not based on just artistic merit but also how that album integrates itself into my life. 2000 represented a transition in my life, a journey of sorts and what better way to represent the soundtrack to your life than with a deft eclectic musical voyage. Overall, my favorite albums of the past year did not center on lyrics or production or performance but a feeling evoked by a myriad of styles fused together and there was none better than that found on Tourist by St Germain. I refer to it as therapeutic music to occupy my daydreaming mind.

I knew nothing about St Germain but saw Tourist atop the jazz charts and without hesitation called to get a copy. An album selling that well that I've never even heard of is reason enough for at least a cursory listen.

Tourist arrived and immediately after putting it on, I realized that this new CD was going to be exploring my mind for a few non-stop weeks as a worldly tourist with plenty of future return engagements. The adventure begins with the energetic seven-minute "Rose Rouge" from which the lyric "I Want You To Get Together" entices a call to action. This sentiment seems to call out to my very own senses, asking them to join together and continue the joyous ride. They hear the beckon and proceed through the graceful chill out number "Montego Bay Spleen" with it's Wes Montgomery guitar noodling (provided eloquently by Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin) and a fat down tempo beat.

So, now you've sunk into a deep melted mood within the inner depths of your mind and the third track "So Flute" busts out and rides the crest of a thick techno and dub infused groove for 8 minutes, leaving you overwhelmed with aural pleasure. From there, we step back again as a saxophone blossoms amidst a swinging hip-hop beat and we're off to "Land of?" before the funky upbeat Brazilian groove on "Latin Note" rescues us with a festive fusionary delight.

Are you with me? If you've ventured this far without any noticeable regret, you will not only be fully immersed as a newfound tourist but will eagerly await the next sonic wave. Will it be subtle or bold or smooth or fat? The answer comes in another one of the album's peaks; track numero six. It is entitled "Sure Thing" which contains elements from "Harry's Philosophy" (Miles Davis and John Lee Hooker) and layers a cool bluesy swirl atop the voice of John Lee Hooker. This cascading groove extends into the momentous dub and techno loops of "Pont Des Arts" and you begin to hope that the tour never ends. But even great things come to an end and after nine sumptuous tracks this tour does too.

Tourist was written, produced & mixed by the mysterious St Germain and he also takes on the role of conductor for the other musicians involved in this project. The songs on Tourist range from five to nine minutes as each one distinctively sets a unique mood, one that usually sweeps you away from the one you were just visiting but with a common thread that awakens an unquenching desire to repeat this process over and over again letting it's luster shine brighter with each successive spin.

Will the real St Germain make himself known. First, there's the legend. At the court of Louis XV in 18th Century France, there was a character that amazed everyone by pretending to be several centuries old. He went by the name of Saint Germain. Then there's Ludovic Navarre, a.k.a. Saint Germain and pioneer of the French Touch (the new electronic music of France), who is not pretending in the least. To me, St Germain embodies the essence of the real new proteges of contemporary jazz. Not playing electric versions of the same old thematic jazz but instead incorporating varied styles and sometimes samples as a base and then melding them together with an improvisational series of soundscapes. His mix of techno, jazz, blues, ambient, house and dub seems to transcend the ages and speaks directly to the emotion of your soul.

So, if you enjoy musical hybrids and sound collages that touch upon many distinct moods, then become a Tourist with Ludovic as your faithful guide.


Track Listing: Rose Rouge / Montego Bay Spleen / So Flute / Land of? / Latin Note / Sure Thing / Pont Des Arts / La Goutte D?or / What You Think About?

Personnel: Ludovic Navarre (Conductor) / Pascal Ohse (trumpet) / Edouard Labor (Saxophone-Flute) / Alexandre Destrez (keyboards) / Idrissa Diop (Talkin' Drum) / Carneiro (Percussions) / Claudio (Cacao) De Qeiroz (Baryton) / Ernest Ranglin (guitarist)

Title: Tourist | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
St. Germain

St. Germain

Nonesuch Records
2015

buy
Tourist

Tourist

Blue Note Records
2003

buy
Tourist

Tourist

Blue Note Records
2001

buy

Related Articles

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 Inner Core CD/LP/Track Review
Inner Core
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Dirigo Rataplan II CD/LP/Track Review
Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read The Window CD/LP/Track Review
The Window
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 21, 2018
Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "Circle of Chimes" CD/LP/Track Review Circle of Chimes
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Murals" CD/LP/Track Review Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Brother Raymond" CD/LP/Track Review Brother Raymond
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "Baby's Party" CD/LP/Track Review Baby's Party
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2018
Read "No World Between Us" CD/LP/Track Review No World Between Us
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 30, 2018
Read "Ojo (Vince Bell)" CD/LP/Track Review Ojo (Vince Bell)
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 8, 2018