Dec 29 2017
Best of 2017 #05: Collectif SPATULE – “Le Vanneau Huppé” (Aloya Music)
This album crackles with an electricity that sounds like laughter, feels like euphoria and lights up the room with a jolt of beauty. Le Vanneau Huppé is so full of life, it barely is able to contain itself. Thankfully, Collectif SPATULE doesn’t even bother trying. And in that same way a smile can transmit a wealth of information, so too does the music of this Nantes-based nonet. The transcendent cheerfulness doesn’t obscure the whip-smart complexities at the heart of the music, of how a strong folkloric quality is the launching point for a series of melodic diversions, and how the accent on strings with harp, acoustic guitar, cello and double bass adds rich harmonic textures to those already set in place by saxophones and voices. There’s so much going on at times, the music threatens to run away… but only to the point where it remains alluringly close, close enough to hurriedly catch up. And the resulting spikes in intensity amplify what is already a highly-charged atmosphere. This is an album with a magnetic personality, and one of the most fascinating recordings of 2017.
Music from Nantes, France.
Read more on Bird is the Worm.
Jan 23 2020
Best of 2019 #48: Colunia – “Zéphyr”
It’s hard not to fall under the spell Emilie Chevillard’s chromatic harp. It possesses such a distinctive sound, and simultaneously stands out from and blends in with the other instruments. It is that way a single tongue of flame can draw the attention from within a fireplace, even as it draws the other flames in close. And this is true of the 2019 release from Colunia, where the heat of the flames and the way they dance amongst one another possesses a hypnotic effect while, simultaneously, keeping the listener bolted upright. The conversational chatter from drummer Florian Chaigne, the arresting melodicism of saxophonist Gweltaz Hervé, the deep hum from bassist Emeric Chevalier, and guests on woodwinds and strings, all come together with a dazzling brilliance that makes the singularity of the fire far more resonant than any individual flame. But all the same, this is one more example of a growing base of evidence that harp needs to be included far more often in a jazz setting.
Your album personnel: Emilie Chevillard (chromatic harp, konnakol), Florian Chaigne (drums, konnakol), Gweltaz Hervé (soprano, alto & baritone saxophones), Emeric Chevalier (double bass), and guests: Linda Oláh (vocal), David Chevallier (guitars), Geoffroy Tamisier (trumpet), and Thomas Jacquot (sitar).
The album is Self-Produced.
Music from Nantes, France.
I wrote about this album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Listen | Read more | Available at: Bandcamp – Amazon
By davesumner • Recap: Best of 2019 • 0 • Tags: Best Jazz of 2019, Colunia, Nantes (France), Self-Produced