‘Live’ in Foix Tcha Limberger Trio with Mozes Rosenberg

Track list – 1: My Blue Heaven; 2: Avalon; 3: Pour Que Ma Vie Demeure; 4: I Surrender Dear; 5: Moonglow; 6: Topsy; 7: Flamingo; 8: Someday You’ll Be Sorry; 9: Some of These Days; 10: Clair De Lune; 11: What Is This Thing Called Love
Personnel – Tcha Limberger: violin and vocals; Mozes Rosenberg: guitar; Dave Kelbie: rhythm guitar; Sébastien Giradot: contrabasse
Released – 2017
Label – lejazzetal Records
Runtime – 1:01:22

Although this album finds Mr. Limberger primarily on violin which he plays with enormous skill, supplying the requisite emotional density and his playing is fluid and beautifully controlled and exemplary throughout, he does sing on two tracks, scatting (“I Surrender Dear”) and singing expressivo wordlessly executing a succession of breathtaking passaggio phrases on “Someday You’ll Be Sorry”, while executing diabolical double, triple and quadruple stops on “Flamingo”. The album showcases the water-colours of Django Reinhardt’s “Clair De Lune” and a memorable version of Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love”.
Mozes Rosenberg’s appearance on this recording adds enormous heft to the music and the guitarist plays with great virtuosity and character. His articulation is pure and in his extraordinary use of dynamics the absent characters in the music’s narratives live and breathe as if they suddenly appeared in front of you. Among the absolute high points on the disc is the bridge on “Avalon” where Mr. Limberger and the guitarist combine in a series of Paganini-like inversions.
The core of this group also includes Mr. Limberger’s life-long musical partners – Dave Kelbie, a rhythm guitarist of such astonishing power and skill, and so flawless a sense of time that he obviates, as always, the need of a drummer. The other musical cohort is Sébastien Giradot, a supremely lyrical contrabassist who also adds light and shade to the music as a painter daubs a canvas with colour. Together, the four musicians succeed in making this an album to die for.

World Music Report

Brad Child meets la Section Rythmique

Brad Child meets La Section Rythmique: Exactly Like You, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, Poor Butterfly, Pennsylvania 6-5000, The Very Thought Of You, When My Dreamboat Comes Home, Stars Fell On Alabama, Slow Hot Wind, I’ll See You In My Dreams, Blue And Sentimental, The Five O’Clock Whistle, Linger Awhile, The Créon Sun Blues (Child). Brad Child (ts), Dave Blenkhorn (g), Sébastien Girardot (b), Guillaume Nouaux (dm), Créon, 12 juin 2017, durée: 1h12’35”.

Eh non! Les “spécialistes du jazz” n’ont pas réussi à exterminer tous les swingmen! Pour preuve ce blancement “lazy” dans “When My Dreamboat Comes Home”, stigmat du swing. Interprétation réhaussée par le jeu “méchant” (d’autre diront velu) du sax ténor et l’art de monter la tension du guitariste. Brad Child (né le 17 octobre 1965) a étudié au Sydney Conservarorium of Music. Cet Australien est sur la scène jazz de son pays depuis plus de 30 ans. Mais c’est au très fréquentable festival d’Ascona que j’ai découvert son existence. Brad joue au sein du Swing Rocket du trombone Dan Barnett (à ne pas confondre avec un autre Dan, Américain) dont la rythmique a soutenu en février 2018, Michel Pastre, Drew Davies et lui pour un International Tenor Sax Summit. Dans ce CD récent, l’accompagnement est prodigué par “LA” Section Rythmique, connue désormais sous l’abréviation LSR et qui est une garantie de réussite là où le jazz est concerné. Brad quant à lui s’inscrit dans la lignée des Texas Tenors (“Blue And Sentimental”), de Sam “The Man” Taylor (“Poor Butterfly”), Willis Jackson et quelques autres au gros son et au phrasé véhément. Le “Exactly Like You” pris sur tempo lent le démontre d’emblée. Arnett Cobb n’est pas loin. On peut penser aussi furtivement à Ben Webster dans “The Very Thought Of You”. L’expressivité prime donc chez Brad Child. Ecoutez l’exposé ténor/basse dans “When I Grow Too Old To Dream” (le développement véhément et growlé n’est pas sans faire penser aussi à l’altiste Earl Bostic). Dave Blenkhorn, dans l’esprit de Wes Montgomery, y déploie un beau sens du swing. C’est la couleur bluesy que Dave met en avant dans l’excellent “Pennsylvania 6-5000” où dans son solo, il est bien poussé par Guillaume Nouaux, et où Sébastien Girardot offre un très bon solo. Sur des tempos plus vifs, “Slow Hot Wind” et “’ll See You In My Dreams” (solo de Guillaume Nouaux) font partie des très bons moments du CD. Le swing y est de rigueur avec LSR au top! “The Five O’Clock Whiste” balance bien et Sébastien Girardot y prend un solo concis et efficace (beau son de contrebasse!). Guillaume Nouaux est magistral dans “Linger Awhile” (introduction, accompagnement et solo). Le programme du CD se termine dans le blues lent low down à souhait. Ce disque n’est pas pour ceux qui déteste le blues+swing, c’est à dire le jazz de tradition. Les autres… revivent, pensant sans doute que ça n’existait plus.

Michel “Bunk” Laplace, 21 février 2018

Evan Arntzen meets la Section Rythmique

cd cover


Evan Arntzen : clarinette, tenor sax / David Blenkhorn : guitar / Sébastien Girardot : double bass / Guillaume Nouaux : drums

Dan Morgenstern’s Liner Notes:

There is a song, not a standard yet, immortalized by none other than Louis Armstrong– called “I Come From a Musical Family.” It could be Evan Arntzen’s theme song, since it fits him like a glove.

This gifted young musician hails from Vancouver, Canada (which recently brought us another jazz gift, the wonderful trumpeter-singer-composer Bria Skonberg, in whose company I first encountered Evan, the two sharing front line duty in David Ostwald’s Armstrong Eternity Band). There must be something in the British Columbia soil that causes jazz to thrive.

Consider the Arntzen family. Grandfather Lloyd, who plays superb soprano sax and clarinet, would pick up Evan and his brother Arnt (who plays acoustic guitar and banjo) after school every Wednesday and give them–plus some cousins–lessons on their respective instruments. His home was full of books and records and that’s how Evan first encountered the classic jazz repertory he has learned to master. Father Tom, says Evan, is an accomplished jazz pianist who also works in other styles, while mother Georgina sings professionally and also teaches music. Add some musical cousins, and that song sure comes to life!

Grandpa, who favors Bechet and conjures him up surprisingly well while avoiding that pronounced vibrato, the brothers, and some talented friends can be heard on a highly recommended CD, “Blackstick” (the name of a Bechet composition, that just happened to have been my first encounter with the great man, at a hip friend’s house in Copenhagen almost 75 years ago, thus a special kick to hear now in such good hands).

But on to what you are fortunate to hold in your hands (streaming is not my favorite), which is also a delight and offers uncommon and appealing quartet textures. “La Section Rythmique” is a trio with which, Evan says, “I’ve been playing off and on for the better part of a decade when I’ve gone to Europe.” The threesome is well attuned and offers fine support to Evan, guitarist Blenkhorn also proving himself an interesting soloist, not surprisingly with touches of Django, but original. Bass and drums play their proper roles well, but Guillaume Nouaux adds some unexpected touches. It’s clear that these four have established a common language spoken without any foreign accent (the days when non-American musicians were hyphenated are happily long past).

What particularly delights me about the repertory offered here is the many bases it touches, from Jelly Roll Morton and Chris Smith (who penned “Ballin’ the Jack”) to Richard Rodgers and Water Donaldson, not to mention Billy Strayhorn and Lester Young. It is one of the greatest pleasures of my long life, much of it spent in the company of jazz, that the music finally seems to have arrived at a point in its rich history when more and more young musicians are able to hear and absorb all of it instead of limiting themselves to the latest, the oldest, or the in between. Clearly, Evan is one of these. He has a distinctive style on both his chosen instruments, on which he offers appealing sounds, fluent command, and that often elusive thing called swing. His singing is gratifyingly unaffected and unpretentious, adding a personal and natural “extra”. I was particularly taken with “Please,” both instrumentally and vocally, again in part for sentimental reasons, as I owned this 1930 Robin and Rainger opus by the man who put it on the map, Bing Crosby (I half expected Evan to whistle a la Bing). He acquits himself well with Morton’s self-congratulatory “Mister Jelly Lord,” not to be taken too seriously– Jelly was no Trump.

Of the instrumentals, both Evan originals are good vehicles for improvisation, “Half Eyes” based on guess what standard (trade Half in for Have), while “Afterthought” also offers a title clue, though it reminds me of “Four”–it has a bass solo– good one.

No clues are needed for enjoying “Little White Lies,” a most attractive Donaldson tune and a favorite of the short-lived tenor man Wardell Gray, of whom Evan’s fluent phrasing reminds me. The fine guitar solo moves from single string and slightly boppish to strum, and Evan and drums exchange fours. “Isn’t it Romantic,” called a perfect tune by the demanding Alec Wilder is lovingly treated by clarinet and guitar, including some fuguing–the kind of duet only longtime friends can achieve.

On “I’ll Get By”, bass states the theme with soft guitar behind, then into tempo with single string guitar lead, tenor softly improvising underneath. Evan’s gentle vocal comes as a surprise (sorry to rob the reader), cymbal and softly bowed bass (which can be heard throughout) with Evan humming, then taking up tenor to the soft landing (I’ve commented at some length to illustrate the inventive treatments offered by this so well integrated quartet).

On “Afterthought” Evan plays nice lower register clarinet and there’s some unison with the guitar–to me, a touch of Tristano. “Twelfth Street Rag,” at up tempo, has more of that nice lower register clarinet, a single string guitar solo with lively drums, a fun solo that goes into octave stuff a la Wes, while our bass man comes on a la Milt Hinton, and the drum outing offers a variety of sounds. This is the most entertaining treatment of this oldie since Count Basie (and Lester Young) took it for a ride–the street is in Kansas City. Speaking of Lester Young, “Tickle Toe” is his, and our guys do it justice, at the original tempo–exactly right. (Good tempos are much in evidence throughout this recital, and most welcome).

The attentive listener–meaning you!–can manage without further annotation by yours truly, but I must have my final say: “Lotus Blossom,” one of Billy Strayhorn’s most lovely melodies, is fully respected by this almost straight treatment, via Evan’s clarinet in mid-register, ever so warm, to the pretty ending. No way to follow that, as Duke Ellington, who offered it as a piano solo in memory of Billy, so well knew. Its choice and placement exemplifies the empathy, respect and imagination with which Evan Arntzen and La Section Rythmique have treated this veritable excursion through the music we call jazz. You will like traveling with them!


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