Friday, 5 November 2010

YOLK Records .... don't miss it #3.

Alban Darche Trio - Trickster (Yolk j2027)

line-Up :
Alban Darche : saxophone ténor
Frédéric Chiffoleau : contrebasse 
Emmanuel Birault : batterie 

Well, here's my last review from the YOLK catalogue and the special offer series that they're running until the end of 2010. If you look at the other Yolk postings you'll get a better idea of what's going on, vis a vis this excellent french label and their special offers that pop up on a regular basis.

Anyhow, let's get back to the real meat of what this posting is about, the Alban Darche Trio CD Trickster.  This is the first CD from the YOLK catalogue that I bought, actually I was looking for the live CD from Matthieu Donarier Trio (unavailable at this moment - no distributer), but due to the absence of this CD I opted for Alban Darche and Trickster, and a good choice it was.

Well, what do you get on this CD, some tricks, n'est pas! Yes, it seems (intentionally or not) much of this music is in fact a trick. Darche has overdubbed sax as backgrounds onto some of the tracks, and maybe the bass as well, but not in bad taste at all. The sound of the trio is very present (or up front one could say) on this CD, the only one I've heard from Alban Darche's Trio. As already mentioned, it's interesting to hear how the group has managed to smuggle in some overdubbed sax lines on various tunes to good effect, after all why not use the studio as a tool? But the main focus is on a very danceable sound and solid compositions, acctually due to the overdubbing some of the tracks sound a little like Polar Bear, in particular Novenus, with it's almost rock/dub beat.

Some favorites for me are Hybride with it's lovely lonely melody and overdubbed horns and a rolling bass rhythm leading to a joyous sax solo. Les Avatars sounds a little like Polar Bear but without the doubled saxes as does TOC with it's infectious beat and manipulated drum beats. In fact many of the tunes are like little pop melodies, easy to take in and fun to hear, Mammifère being another very easy melody to follow, but with blowing that is not your normal be-bop.

Alban Darche tries to bring a kind of post Mark Turner feel to the playing which is excellent even if not a complex harmonically. Unfortunately, we don't get to hear the other players 'solo', but one can hope that this will be developed in the next CD.  All in all the music is very listenable with good melodies on all the tracks; however (for me) it does lack the depth of Matthieu Donarier's trio outing, but due to the directness of the music and the compositions .... who cares. The music is joyous and free wheeling, although never free, and very much influenced (I feel) by the world of reggae music. The drum and bass work together exactly like a Jamaican rhythm section - there's even a few manipulated drum sounds to go with it.

1. Hybride 2. Les Avatars 3. Enckavé 4. Trickster 5. Mammifère 6. Novenus 7. Passin 'by III 8 La Tahgerine Sucrée 9. TOC  10. Cycle de Ziriab : Dabcse #1 11. Le Clown Triste 12. Misty 13. La Conjuration des Imbéciles. 

If you want to find somewhere to start - as I did - in the YOLK catalogue - then this is maybe your first choice?! 

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