Alban Darche Trio - Trickster - 3"22'

Alban Darche: tenor saxophone
Emmanuel Birault: Drums
Frederic Chiffoleau: double bass

Definitely, Alban Darche doesn’t do anything like everyone. For more than ten years, the saxophonist has had fun with the sets and sonorities, he settles up today a new project, a trio saxophone, double bass, Drums, of seemingly traditional invoice. Obviously, one will first of all note the line-up which does not concern the chance. If Alban Darche chose to be surrounded by musicians he knows well (Frederic Chiffoleau on double bass, already partner in quartethno and Emmanuel Birault on Drums, his teammate in Kaput K), it is to break with this annoying tendency of impromptu meetings or sessions, which often do not bring more than a smooth and inexpressive music. With this project, the saxophonist shows us how it’s essential that musicians know each other well in order to give music all the body and soul it needs to be interesting. Anyway, this new project, far from any aesthetic consensus brings us freshness and spontaneity, things that are sometimes lacking from what we call Jazz.

Le Gros Cube - La Martipontine - 4"10'

Airelle Besson : Flugelhorn
Laurent Blondiau : Trumpet
Geoffroy Tamisier : Trumpet
Gilles Coronado : guitar
Christophe Lavergne : drums
Sébastien Boisseau : double bass
Arnaud Roulin : keyboards
Patrick Charnois : Baritone Saxophone
Alban Darche : Saxophones
François Ripoche : saxophones
Matthieu Donarier : Saxophones
Jean-Louis Pommier : trombone
Daniel Casimir : Trombone

Jazz is a type of popular music
Le Gros Cube by Alban Darche is good news for jazz. Good news for the history of French jazz. Put like that, obviously, it seems an exaggeration. But let’s get one thing straight: Le Gros Cube by Alban Darche doesn’t pretend to change the history of jazz. It is a landmark. The music played for Le Gros Cube quite simply could not have been written or played before now. Alban Darche is under thirty years old. Most of his fellow musicians are of the same age. They were trained and played – and still play – with the great movers and shakers of “classical” jazz. Musicians like Bruno Chevillon, Daniel Humair, Marc Ducret, Steve Coleman, Tim Berne, Claude Barthélémy... They came after this generation of musicians who, to dethrone idols, sometimes radicalised their music. Everything that might bear the slightest resemblance to the terrible relationship of jazz with American dance music has been cut out. The operation was successful: it gave rise to a freedom and a creativity rarely achieved until then. It also had the side-effect of “intellectualising” jazz, making it complex, and finally distancing it from the larger public. Alban Darche and the musicians of Le Gros Cube come after that generation. They have no statues to unseat, no idols to burn. And between them they have so many conservatoire prizes that they no longer need to add any more to prove their mastery in theory and technique. They have won the right to play what they love. They are among those groups that follow their elders’ committed research. At the same time, when they feel like rediscovering the simple joy of a “big band” that swings and roars with style, they throw themselves right in without reservation. That’s what Le Gros Cube is: pleasure to the first degree. A shared pleasure. On the stage with the musicians. In the hall, with the public, all publics. Casual listeners will find here all that brings a smile to the lips when listening to the big bands of American jazz. At the same time, “informed” lovers of jazz will be impressed by the richness of the orchestrations, the perfection of the ensemble sound, and keen creativity of the soloists. And if, in touching at once the lowbrow and specialists, Le Gros Cube were to rediscover the very essence of jazz? And if, finally, jazz had no other justification than to be popular music played by learned musicians?

Qüntêt - Un poco Tango, Un poco Paso, mucho Loco - 5"59'

Jean-Louis Pommier : Trombone
Alban Darche : saxophone
Patrick Charnois : baritone saxophone
Médéric Collignon : flugelhorn, bugle
Christophe Lavergne drums

An orthography designed to make apparent the idea according to which this band works; and if you see only one shape it is not that of a musician, but that of an ensemble whose quest is to evolve in music as a single entity rather than as a conglomerate. The choice of instruments underlines this commitment: no harmony instruments (for a new distribution of roles) and a wind bass that can at times melt into the sound of the band and participate more closely in the dialogues. As for me, the choice of musicians leaves an important human dimension in the sense that for us all music is a vehicle, and that if one likes to use it, it is always to take the listener on a journey. Here we have excellent “chauffeurs”. The work of writing is adventurous rather than revolutionary. Nothing is forbidden if our artistic needs are satisfied and we want to make jazz more for our way of using the material rather than for the choice of the material itself. Médéric Collignon, Christophe Lavergne, Alban Darche and Patrick Charnois are known for bombarding material until it splits and releases energy. Into this atomiser, then, we put waltzes, tangos, swing, straight, funk, triple time, silence, and many other elements and we have made it into darkness, blue skies, laughter, pride, silence (not easy to completely explode), loving feeling, in sum, a whole load of things that we share with people on this planet.

Triade - Du Kabado - 5"04'

Cédric Piromalli : Piano
Sébastien Boisseau : doublebass
Nicolas Larmignat : drums

Stop the gloominess! One could say that the development of jazz education in the last 15 years has not created a new Coltrane every day. However, this development clearly contributes to the healthy blossoming of fresh new talent. A great exemple is TRIADE, a jazz trio based in France, playing with an exciting and adventuresome siprit. This trio creates a burning fire of contrasting dynamics and colors wich animate a passion for the song and strong lyricism, yet also demonstrating a sense of construction and precision. All this is in good taste and a pleasant surprise coming from such young established musicians. A maturity and intelligence is present in their sound, allowing a liberty, weight and enthusiasm stretching musical boundaries and limits. In this unified musical entity, we find the harmonic palette and touch of the Pianist Cédric Piromalli (principle composerof the trio's music), the strong and assured music voice of bassist Sébastien Boisseau, and the rythmic and textural qualities of drummer Nicolas Larmignat. TRIADE, with each member's unconventional role, takes the jazz trio setting to another level. With collective and unedited creativity, they hold their own place next to their predecessors in the jazz community. Armaud Merlin.