Recommended: Alban Darche & L’OrphiCube – “The Atomic Flonflons”


There’s no grey area as to which era the music of Alban Darche belongs to.  The saxophonist’s sound is singularly modern.  But staring down at the spot Darche has his feet planted in present-day territory doesn’t pose an obstacle for looking back upon the lineage of music that brought him to that place.  Time and again, Darche coaxes the music of the past into his music of today.  And that’s certainly the case of his latest release with his L’OrphiCube ensemble.

The rustic folk music influence of The Atomic Flonflons speaks to music with roots running deep, as does its hot jazz excitability, tango sway and ragtime cheer.  Vocals and accordion provide a framework for the wind instruments to run wild, balancing free improvisation with the simple need of song structure for a melody to blossom to life.

A particularly welcome development is the contribution of Chloé Cailleton, whose vocals were also a huge factor in Collectif SPATULE earning the #5 slot on this site’s Best of 2017 list.

With all of his varied projects resulting in so many excellent recordings, I’ve been wanting to post an Alban Darche overview column for some time.  Let his newest tide you over until that whole thing shakes out.

Your album personnel:  Alban Darche (alto, soprano & baritone saxes), Chloé Cailleton (vocals), Nathalie Darche (piano), Didier Ithursarry (accordion), Stéphane Payen (alto sax), Olivier Laisney (trumpet), Christophe Lavergne (drums) and Sébastien Boisseau (double bass).

Released on Yolk Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Saint-Nazaire, France.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon