Andy Emler MegaOctet: A moment for… (RJAL 397032)

Cover

Andy Emler MegaOctet
A moment for…

Andy Emler piano, conductor
Claude Tchamitchian double bass
Eric Echampard drums
François Thuillier tuba
François Verly marimba, percussion
Laurent Dehors tenor saxophone
Guillaume Orti alto saxophone
Philippe Sellam alto saxophone
Laurent Blondiau trumpet
Recording, mixing and mastering, Studios La Buissonne, Pernes-les-fontaines, France
Recorded December 21/22, 2017 and mixed February 28 & March 1, 2018 by Gérard de Haro, assisted by Anaëlle Marsollier
Mastered by Nicolas Baillard at La Buissonne Mastering Studio
Steinway grand piano tuned and prepared by Alain Massonneau
Drums technician: David Grail
Produced by Gérard de Haro and RJAL for La Buissonne and La Compagnie aime l ‘air
Release date: October 5, 2018

Andy Emler returns to both the pianist and composer’s chair with his MegaOctet for a session of fresh, awesome material. Those who’ve followed Emler and his aptly named ensemble’s journey thus far will know that expectations are only made to be surpassed. A moment for… delivers, and then some.

One look at the set list and you’ll notice grammatical particles orphaned after many of the titles. While some, like “5 Series… of,” may seem like incomplete thoughts, there’s nothing incomplete in the album’s balance of airy grammar and deep punctuation. “Move out… if” serves up a smorgasbord of what Emler and friends are capable of at their collective best: rhythmically and melodically satisfying music that grabs us by the hands and swings until left and right become indistinguishable. Percussionist François Verly steps lithely across the marimba like feet over hot coals and sets up the seedier atmosphere of “Dirty Mood… so.” This tune meshes well with Emler’s ability to craft forward-moving vehicles and includes a choice solo by the one and only François Thuillier. The tuba master engages in hi-res expositions in “Move in… or”’ and “Flight Back… and,” the latter noteworthy for its punch of theatrical voices.

The rhythm section of bassist Claude Tchamitchian and drummer Eric Echampard shores up the tide of “Stand-Up and… blow,” the watery feel of which spurs along the vessel of Laurent Dehors’s soulful tenor saxophone. That tides reaches neap status in the title track, where patience and honesty rule the day. This leaves us to devices of “By the Way,” a caravan ride across a desert of horns who build (as they always do) to peak performance.

A moment for… is both music of and about the moment. It’s also significant for showing the MegaOctet at its most synergistic. Working as one body, Emler and his crew do nothing without consideration of the family. This is their mission statement.

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