Apr 29 2015
Recommended: Vincent Courtois – “Mediums”
The 2012 recording from cellist Vincent Courtois is struck through with vivid imagery. Joined by frequent collaborators Daniel Erdmann and Robin Fincker, the pairing of their twin tenor saxophones and the cello of Courtois has the heart of a storyteller and the delivery of a filmmaker. The tale of Mediums is told with a pastiche of visions and ambiance.
The thick bank of harmonies on “Mounting” sets the scene with a stark beauty. The sprouting lines of melody on title-track “Mediums” is cut through with bisecting lines from cello, crosshatching effusive articulations with a scathing rebuttal.
The dissonant flutter & shriek of “Entresort” is balanced out by the alarming unease of “Une inquiétante disparition (part 1),” which calms itself by whistling a comforting melody, aided further by the soothing whisper of “Regards.”
The dust storm of “Jackson’s Catch” whips the melody about everywhere… an effect not unlike the competing conversations of “Une inquiétante disparition (part 2)” and how the overlapping lines of dialog create a cryptic, foreboding verse.
“Rita and the Mediums” begins disjointedly, but gradually gains momentum and cohesion, rising up like the sun over the horizon. This is bolstered by “La Femme Sans Corps” with its languid motion and off-the-cuff melodic delivery. It’s the deep quiet of the dead of night and the disquieting sounds that call out from the darkness.
The three-part “Bengal” suite goes about tangling the melody into a tight ball. Sometimes, when it reaches a confluence, the song emits the prettiest of sounds. The sweet sigh of “La Nuit des Monstres” takes that result to a greater extreme.
The album ends with “The Removal,” a tune that bobs peacefully on the surface of the water… its cadence hypnotic, its melody strangely alluring, and its note of finality immensely satisfying and one that aptly encapsulates this enchanting album
Your album personnel: Vincent Courtois (cello), Daniel Erdmann (tenor sax) and Robin Fincker (tenor sax).
Released in 2012 on La Buissonne.
Listen at Bandcamp. Explore the artist on Soundcloud.
Music from Paris, France.
Jan 17 2019
Best of 2018 #14: Ryan Keberle & Frank Woeste – “Reverso: Suite Ravel”
The bullet point list of the components to Reverso: Suite Ravel is plenty intriguing on its own. But these arrangements of Ravel works for a chamber jazz session are so damn engrossing that the details found in the album’s liner notes just melt away. What remains is a stunning beauty matched with an engaging liveliness… a combination that lets the listener decided whether to sink into daydreams or move through life with the album’s prevailing motions. The combination of jazz improvisation and chamber structure don’t always make for the easiest convergence of influences, but the quartet of pianist Frank Woeste, trombonist Ryan Keberle, cellist Vincent Courtois and drummer Jeff Ballard bring it to life as if nurturing a flower to bloom from their personal mix of soil. This album sweeps me away every time I listen.
Released on Alternate Side Records and Phonoart.
Music from New York City.
I wrote about this album for The Bandcamp Daily.
Available at: Bandcamp | Amazon
By davesumner • Recap: Best of 2018 • 0 • Tags: Alternate Side Records, Franke Woeste, Jazz - Best of 2018, New York City, Ryan Keberle, Vincent Courtois