Cholet/Michel/Ithursarry/Lopez: Whispers (RJAL 397025)

Cover

Whispers

Jean-Christophe Cholet piano
Matthieu Michel flugelhorn
Didier Ithursarry accordion
Ramon Lopez drums
Recorded at Studios La Buissonne, December 11/12, 2014 and mixed February 12/13, 2015 by Gérard de Haro
Mastered at Studios La Buissonne by Nicolas Baillard
Preparation and piano tuning by Alain Massonneau
Artistic direction by Gérard de Haro
Produced by Gérard de Haro and RJAL for La Buissonne & Infingo
Release date: April 29, 2016

Jean-Christophe Cholet (piano) and Matthew Michel (flugelhorn) leverage two decades of collaboration and friendship in this recording. Joining them on occasion are Didier Ithursarry (accordion) and Ramon Lopez (drums) for a set of mostly in-group tunes. Exceptions to that rule include “He’s gone.” Written by Charlie Mariano, it first appeared on The Door Is Open, an album by Jasper Van’t Hof’s Pork Pie, released in 1976 on MPS. Though dour in nature, it develops here with a mounting brightness. Another is “Zemer,” a modal piece of drama by Israeli composer Marc Lavry, elsewhere recorded by Daniel Zamir and Satlah on Children of Israel (released in 2002 on John Zorn’s Tzadik label).

Such balancing acts between internal and external forces are best performed by the core duo in “Fair,” through which they crochet an evenly distributed band of colors, Michel adding a tasteful choir of horns toward the end. The quartet weaves its own fantasies, making first appearance in “Rêve.” Its flowing colors can be found dyeing such cloths as “Diss” and “Le tour de Marius,” the latter a bluesy send-off into a hopeful future. The set is rounded out by a solo piano interlude (“Noctambule”) and the lovely duets of “The Fairground” (piano and drums) and “Onnance” (accordion and flugelhorn). Both wrap their fingers around memories threatening to fade while keeping one foot in and out of time, leaving us to tell the story of their passing.

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