2019 Highlight: Antoine Berjeaut and Makaya McCraven

Containing an infectiously elastic, clubby, groove that takes us one step beyond, 'The New Untitled (Potomac Avenue)' from Moving Cities out on the I See Colors label from trumpeter composer Antoine Berjeaut known in the recent past for his work …

Published: 17 Dec 2019. Updated: 2 years.

Containing an infectiously elastic, clubby, groove that takes us one step beyond, 'The New Untitled (Potomac Avenue)' from Moving Cities out on the I See Colors label from trumpeter composer Antoine Berjeaut known in the recent past for his work with Aloe Blacc, Julien Lourau’s Groove Retrievers and Primitive London with Robin Fincker, Kit Downes and Jim Hart.

Moving Cities was produced by drummer Makaya Mc Craven and recorded in Chicago and Paris.

Check the rest of the album too via Bandcamp. The track is not just the only ear opener.

Makaya, son of Archie Shepp legend Steve McCraven, grounds the whole record entirely, and his groove does very subtle things with beat displacement slipped in almost invisibly.

However this is not just a rhythm track because there is a lot of improvising going on even when the tectonic plates hardly slip or so it seems especially as the groove goes downtempo, Berjeaut reinventing the Erik Truffaz-type space as he shifts around and adds extra grit while Julien Lourau on saxophone is as listenable-to as ever. He has always had his own vocabulary. Junius Paul on bass, Arnaud Roulin on synth, Guillaume Magne playing guitar, Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch introducing electronics and effects plus Matt Gold on guitar on a couple of tracks are the line-up. Press shot of Antoine Berjeau (top left) and Makaya McCraven. SG

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2019 Highlight: Easy Listening

Do not be deceived by the title Easy Listening from Earprint on the Endectomorph label. Just take it with a grain of salt. It's that man Kevin Sun on saxophone again (and spiky clarinet on 'Gallimaufry'), definitely one of the big discoveries of …

Published: 16 Dec 2019. Updated: 2 years.

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Do not be deceived by the title Easy Listening from Earprint on the Endectomorph label. Just take it with a grain of salt. It's that man Kevin Sun on saxophone again (and spiky clarinet on 'Gallimaufry'), definitely one of the big discoveries of 2019. However, this is as much the band of trumpeter Tree Palmedo at the lead. Think Dave Douglas a bit when he works with Chet Doxas on Riverside although the Easy Listening guys' sound is less vintage. Driving ''new Cool school'' I'd describe all this if generalising. Without a harmony instrument the band have to rustle up a certain interplay that is ingeniously subtle and usually the harmonies come together via straggling trumpet and saxophone intertwinings but horn duoplay is not entirely the point as both bass and drums by adopting a very open trajectory tilt the direction of the band sound in unpredictable angles. Bassist Simón Willson and drummer Dor Herskovits complete the band and inject an urgency even when the tempo lies down. There is a deft melodicism at play to conclude and when the band run they also know how to hide away. Very cool, both upper case, and, lower case you'll C. Tree Palmedo photo via treepalmedo.com

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