Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jean-Philippe Gregoire, Sounds from the Delta

In the realm of modern jazz guitar we have the entrance of Jean-Philippe Gregoire, a player of excellent abilities. His album Sounds from the Delta (Big Round 8935) gives us a telling portrait of his playing, his composing and a very capable band that stays with and matches him for getting it together.

Baptiste Herbin is a swinging hard-charging man on tenor and other saxes; Martin Guimbellot has strong contrabass tone and a rock steady sense of time and harmonic dynamics; Nicolas Charlier plays some nicely swinging, loosely inventive drums.

The title no doubt refers to Jean-Philippe's New Orleans roots? No, he was born and bred in France. This is not Delta blues, though there is a bluesiness to Gregoire's playing. Rather, it is cutting-edge hard- and post-bop contemporary jazz. It doesn't matter what the title means because the music is pretty great.

The tunes are very good, all Gregoire originals except the couple of standards, one by Debussy. And they set the table for the "blowing meal" well.

Gregoire has roots in classic bop guitarists and brings it all up-to-date with his own synthesis. Whether a ballad or an up-tempo stormer, Jean-Philippe has an excellent lining and chording sense that manages to be his own though deeply rooted. He is something to hear! Herbin is right up there with smart and very musical fire and tenderness, so there is never a lag.

Excellent music!

No comments:

Post a Comment