Recommended: Ping Machine – “Easy Listening”


Considering the intricate details and complex expressionism on the new recording from Ping Machine, it would be a fair assumption that the title of Easy Listening was meant as irony.  But, really, it’s not, not at all.  Because Frédéric Maurin harnesses the myriad of moving pieces and focuses them into a singular focus that makes their 2016 release so very easy to connect with and embrace.

The melodic repetition of vibraphones, the elastic melodicism of saxophone and the harmonic washes of wind instruments creates textures like strata, making them simple to trace.  And the shifts between a peaceful ambiance and a driven intensity to an insistent bounce is one where delicate solos drift slowly along to the same confluence of melody that carries the fiercer statements.  And all of it is orchestrated in a way that maintains an equal focus on the minute details of a passage and the big picture view of the entire work.  That final quality is the approach that makes Easy Listening a self-fulfilling prophecy.

A truly wonderful recording.

Your album personnel:  Bastien Ballaz (trombone), Stephan Caracci (marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel, percussion), Guillaume Christophel (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Jean-Michel Couchet (alto & soprano saxophones), Andrew Crocker (trumpet, bugle), Fabien Debellefontaine (alto sax, clarinet, flute), Florent Dupuit (tenor sax, flute, alto flute & piccolo), Quentin Ghomari (trumpet, bugle), Didier Havet (bass trombone, tuba), Rafaël Koerner (drums, percussion), Paul Lay (piano, synthesizers), Frédéric Maurin (electric guitar, Max 7), Fabien Norbert (trumpet, piccolo trumpet, bugle), Raphaël Schwab (double bass) and Julien Soro (tenor sax, clarinet).

Released on the Neuklang label.

Music from Paris.

Available at:  Amazon