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(48 min, Great Winds Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. L’Absence 8:02 2. La Diversion 7:12 3. Avant la Sonsinelle 2:09 4. La Sontinelle-1 8:52 5. La Cavalu 1:49 6. La Sontinelle-2 8:21 7. La Demesure 4:33 8. La Hublot 7:13 LINEUP: Philippe Lemoine – saxophone Didier Ithurssary – accordion Eric Groleau – drums Olivier Lete – bass
Prolusion. Consisting of eight all-instrumental pieces, “Le Talent de la Colere” is the debut album by the PHILIPPE LEMOINE QUARTET, from France, albeit three of the band members have been working together since 2003. In the CD press kit their music is described as classic Jazz Rock.
Analysis. While released by the Great Winds label, a jazzy division of Musea Records, this is in many ways a unique album, as most of its content pushes far beyond the normal jazz-rock borders. The style of pieces like L’Absence and La Diversion is seen as a hybrid of composed Jazz-Fusion and Chamber Rock with occasional free improvisations, but without unison leads or any other traditional jazz features either (which is typical of the rest of the material as well). While the compositions do not quite deliver on the brutal force and explosive power that most of RIO stands out for, they have a lot of the other hallmarks of the genre, including irregular and changing harmonic sequences combined with unexpected rhythmic accents, and complex arrangements, full of changes in pace, theme and structure alike. The French band Moving Gelatine Plates had played in a similar manner. Another aspect that can rarely be found in jazz music concerns the mood of the pieces, which is mostly dramatic, at times deeply so, and never really bright. All the same can be said of the tracks La Sontinelle-2, La Demesure and La Hublot – sans the fact that the chamber rock element is in all cases replaced by that of avant-garde Art-Rock. Within the latter genre-related arrangements each of the pieces bristles with power and sounds like something that might have appeared on one of the early albums by Van Der Graaf Generator. Philippe Lemoine’s saxophone work is often reminiscent of David Jackson’s, while Didier Ithurssary’s accordion at times sounds very much like the Hammond organ! La Sontinelle-1 develops similarly within its core section, but both the first and the last third of the tune consist of more restrained arrangements, suggesting composed Jazz Ambient (uncommonly eclectic one, I must add), as also does the cut La Cavalu – throughout. However, this is also not ‘your’ typical jazz ambient piece. Its almost fragile construction with exquisite compositional structures is coupled with a more sophisticated approach to sonority and color. Another – and the last – short track on the album, Avant la Sonsinelle, is its only item that left me cold, as there is nothing besides a bass solo, played in a seemingly jazz improvisational state.
Conclusion. Full of enchanting moods and effective contrasts that make it worthy of repeated listens, “Le Talent de la Colere” is an exceptionally interesting album overall. Indeed, there’s enough complexity and brilliance to keep even for the most discriminating prog lover interested almost all over its entire length, and still have them hit the repeat button when it’s done. Fans of bands like Moving Gelatine Plates, Brainstorm and Jam Camp should particularly be pleased with it.
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