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Franck Tortiller is decidedly a singular musician. After two duo CDs with a guitarist and then a saxophonist, the former artistic director of one of the most stimulating ONJs confronts his vibraphone with a string quartet.

The string quartet is the nec plus ultra of classical chamber music. Far from the arrangements for strings concocted by many jazz musicians, which often swing little, Tortiller has proposed to the Quatuor Debussy a lively writing that combines timbres of great purity and incomparable lightness with an alert swing. In this setting, the leader’s vibraphone unfurls a fleshy sonority, sometimes percussive, sometimes cantabile, and launches into impros that are both magnificently constructed and full of lyrical sap.

The interplay between strings and blades is constantly stimulating, and can be enjoyed like a fine wine, for the inspiration for “Cépages(s)”, as its name suggests, is wine. The Burgundian vibraphonist is well acquainted with this subject, having entitled his first opus (in 1997) – which already featured a string quartet on several tracks – “Vitis vinifera”, from the Latin name of the vine.

It was in collaboration with Raphaël Pommier, a Rhône Valley winemaker from Domaine de Cousignac, that Tortiller conceived this new opus.
A jazz encounter based on a shared passion for wine.

Wine and the string quartet are two areas in which Tortiller evolves with constant ease and inspiration, producing incomparable musical flavors to be savored with relish.

Line up:

Franck Tortiller: vibraphone, compositions

Quatuor Debussy

Christophe Collette: Premier violon
Emmanuel Bernard: Deuxième violon
Vincent Deprecq: Alto
Cédric Conchon: Violoncelle

Cépage(s) was released by label MCO, on January 2024.

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