37

Matthieu Marthouret Organ Quartet: Upbeats

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Necessity is not only the mother of invention, but also of direction. French pianist Matthieu Marthouret initially took on the task of mastering the organ because of problems finding bass players for rehearsals, but he found his own voice on the instrument and discovered a world of possibilities in the process. The debut album from his organ quartet—Playground (MuSt, 2009)—served as a launching pad for his explorations in this arena, but the group is in full flight throughout Upbeats.

The cogs on the album cover are a perfect visual to go with this work, as they could easily represent the wheels turning in Marthouret's mind or the intricate, twisted path of the music. Unexpected turns and stylistic diversity are par for the course, as Marthouret and his merry band have their way with this format.

The journey begins with a sprightly bossa nova ("Spring Bossa"), but immediately moves in a different direction with a sly number full of sharp turns ("564"). The program continues with a criminally short, haunting vignette ("Kairos"), a shifty number with a stellar saxophone solo from Nicolas Kummert Voices and a gentle entry that borders on ballad territory and benefits from the light lift provided by drummer Manuel Franchi's brush work.

While Marthouret uses the first half of the album to cover a variety of ground, the last four tracks are all about the energy. Alto saxophonist David Fettmann comes aboard on the title track, ratcheting up the tension as he converses with Kummert's tenor. Kummert continues his streak of strong showings on the funky "The Tree In The Backyard," which also contains some fine back-and-forth between Marthouret and guitarist Maxime Fougeres, while Franchi steps up to the plate on the last two tracks. His swampy, NOLA-inspired drumming lays the ground work on "The Weird Monk," while the final entry on the program—"Inconstant Loop"—features his most aggressive playing, as Marthouret uses the "end with a bang" ideal to close out the record.

Upbeats isn't about tradition versus innovation; it's about tradition and innovation. Marthouret marries them both throughout this program, which provides a fine glimpse into his world.

Track Listing: Spring Bossa; 564; Kairos; bends; Prelude; Upbeats; The Tree In The Backyard; The wWeird Monk; Inconstant Loop.

Personnel: Matthieu Marthouret: Hammond organ; Nicolas Kummert: tenor saxophone, vocals; David Prez: tenor saxophone; Sandro Zerafa: guitar; Manuel Franchi: drums; David Fettmann: alto saxophone (6).

Title: Upbeats | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Double Moon Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Tom Thumb

Tom Thumb

Matthieu Marthouret
Contrasts

Joe

Joe

Matthieu Marthouret
Bounce Trio

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Contrasts

Contrasts

We See Music Records
2016

buy
Small Streams...Big Rivers

Small Streams...Big...

Self Produced
2014

buy
Upbeats

Upbeats

Double Moon Records
2012

buy
Playground

Playground

Must Records
2009

buy
Bounce Trio

Bounce Trio

Self Produced
0

buy

Related Articles

Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Karl Ackermann
July 17, 2019
Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Dan McClenaghan
July 16, 2019
Read Movimenti Album Reviews
Movimenti
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read A New Home Album Reviews
A New Home
By Mark Corroto
July 16, 2019