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This album is somewhat a departure for French drummer Jacques Thollot. Gone are the uncompromising free jazz experiments of the 60s and 70s - but not forgotten. He is clearly able to channel them in order to profit a more structured environment which betrays a renewed interest for the melody. The set features a core quartet comprised of pianist Tony Hymas, guitarist Noël Akchoté, and bassist Claude Tchamitchian, with special guests trumpeter Henry Lowther on a couple of tracks, and Thollot's daughter, Marie, singing on the closing song that she penned. At first, the program may appear as a disheveled hodgepodge of styles and moods - sometimes co-existing within the same composition. It is, however, a very coherent project for Thollot has a clear vision of the concept he is developing. The compositions cover a wide range of style, including free-form improvisation, samba or classical sonata. They offer strong and memorable themes, often colored with melancholy and sadness, such as the superb "Fanny De Deux A Trois." In addition to the drummer's strong compositional skills, the session is a showcase for his crisp playing and melodic resourcefulness as his unaccompanied drum solo, "Trois Bambins Pour Art," can testify. Utterly modern and conveying a new idea of freedom, Tenga Niña is a truly original work by one of France's most unconventional talents. It should also not be missed since his recordings as a leader are not legion.
Cat. number: 777701