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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

It is a highly original tentet that Laurent Cugny offers us for his return to the record shops after several years of phonographic silence.

Original first of all by its line up: no less than three electric keyboards, two drums and two reeds going from high (soprano sax) to low (bass clarinet). A guitar, a trumpet and a double bass come to complete this instrumentarium, the goal of which is obviously to forge a thick and fleshy sound.

It is indeed this sound which strikes at once and which seduces immediately by its flavor at the same time dense and ductile. Original, then, by its repertory which goes from compositions of the leader to a theme by Joni Mitchell, another by Joe Zawinul and by the Beatles, a piece by Duke Ellington and even a song by Michel Jonaz.

A welcome eclecticism that covers a wide temporal space to which Cugny‘s arrangements constitute the stylistic link insofar as his writing is both resolutely modern and steeped in a tradition that goes back to the first electric opuses of Miles Davis in the 70s. “Zeitgeist” (German for “spirit of the time”) seems to be a perfectly appropriate title because Cugny updates this aesthetic that he knows well for having collaborated with Gil Evans, among others.

On this orchestral substratum where the voices of the three keyboards weave a sumptuous melodic and harmonic framework while the drums ensure a subtle and abundant rhythmic support, come the solos of the blowers, the guitar or one of the keyboards.

Solos with shimmering colors that blend into the overall aesthetic while asserting the individual voice of each instrumentalist.

All in all, we have here a very singular work that should be a milestone, as it gives a new lease of life to an orchestral genre that has been little represented in recent decades. Magistral !

Line up:

Laurent Cugny: Fender Rhodes, arrangements, direction

Pierre de Bethmann: Fender Rhodes

Laurent Coulondre: Hammond B3 organ

Manu Codjia: guitar

Quentin Ghomari: trumpet

Martin Guerpin: soprano sax

Stéphane Guillaume: bass clarinet

Jérôme Regard or Clément Daldosso: double bass

Stéphane Huchard: drums

Antoine Paganotti or Elie Martin-Charrière: drums

Zeitgeist was released by Frémeaux & Associés on april 14, 2023

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