Dec 23 2014
A very likable album from the quartet Talmest. Their self-titled debut Talmest offers up a variety of regional takes on jazz… there’s some hot jazz, there’s some tracks with a Mediterranean influence, those with a Middle-East influence, others with an Indo-jazz influence… and by drawing out the commonalities between the folk musics inherent in each of those disparate expressions, they find a common core from which to construct the album into a cohesive whole.
It’s why the Middle-East inspired “Katekan” doesn’t sound anywhere out of place on the same album as “Rag Kidigan,” which gets in a nice bit of Indo-jazz or the modern folk-jazz of “Rebun To,” which sounds more like something currently originating from U.S. shores or even the bursts of an updated hot jazz on “La Course du Daisetsu.”
The Mediterranean and French influences seep into the dialog of nearly each track, reflecting the roots of the Talmest musicians, which naturally will inform any type of creative expression, intended or otherwise. These types of reflections of different facets is a huge factor in why this album is so intoxicating. So is the unusual instrumental mix of mandolin, clarinets, double bass and tombak. Perhaps the most important factor to this approach’s success is that the quartet doesn’t allow their globe-hopping to become a muddled mix of influences… personality traits are allowed to remain distinct from one another. When they peek out from the crowd, they provide differentiation in the moment without crashing the walls of the album’s overarching sound.
The bass arco on “Katekan” adds some necessary darkness to the bright, shiny notes offered up with mandolin and the chipper conversational tone of tombak. When clarinet joins in at the lower registers, the shadowplay becomes even more inviting. It’s a slightly different effect on “Charukeshi Ektal,” where the use of bass clarinet provides a boost of propulsion to a tempo that seems perpetually just an extra flap or two of the wings from taking flight.
I’ve been consistently enjoying this recording, and it’s a little something different that would make a nice addition to a diverse music collection. Go check it out.
Your album personnel: Alexi Orgeolet (mandolin, Indian slide guitar), Antoine Morineau (tombak, dafs, percussion), Matteo Pastorino (clarinet, bass clarinet), and Flavio Perrella (double bass).
This Self-Produced is released on Quart de Lune.
Nifty cover art by Diptanshu Roy.
Jazz from the Paris scene.
The CD is also available for purchase directly from the artist via PayPal.