Jun 13 2013
This is an album that keeps the listener hanging on every note. On Balades Ephémères, the trio of Massot, Florizoone, and Horbaczewski have concocted a blend of jazz, folk, and classical music that instills a cloak of serenity over every moment, even those that cause a bump in the pulse rate. There is a patience in each expression, reflecting a craftsmanship that each note, each section, each interlude, each song will be provided the time to bloom at just the right moment and in just the right form. This creates a perpetual effect of waiting in anticipation for what comes next, and adds an element of anxiousness to an album of eloquent serenity.
On brass, Massot takes turns getting punchy with his instrument, tattooing the rhythm down in place, but other times, he just takes off soaring, and leads to melodic development while serving as an easy target for harmonization. He speaks out in soulful tones, delivered with a heavy grace and a nimble step.
Florizoone’s accordion is a harmonic blanket that touches every surface. There are moments when he contributes an Old Country folk tune presence, providing cheerful tones to cheerful songs. But then there are times when he washes over a tune with an ambient drone, sending out waves of harmony that elicit warmth and languorous bliss.
Horbaczewski’s cello is the model of melodic beauty. Whether cutting frenetically through a tune with wild abandon or sending out notes that drift with a languid stillness, Horbaczewski’s graceful touch provides both a heart and a home for the melody to reside. The harmonic implications of her role are carried through with no less elegance or grace.
Obviously, I’ve fallen for this album pretty hard. I’ve been familiar with some of the prior works of the musicians here, particularly the trio’s previous release Cinema Novo, and Florizoone’s Tricycle project, but this release hit me with a strength greater than anything from them before. Beautiful stuff.
Released on the Aventura Musica label.
Available to stream, and purchase, at the label’s Bandcamp page.
Available at eMusic.