Four young French guys get together to re-make/re-model the sounds of electric-period Miles Davis...and the results are really pretty spiffy. Call them stylists, call them popularizers, but don’t not tell them that they can’t come to the party - these cats use as ingredients the early sounds of Fusion circa 1969-74, back when it had teeth, before it became all homogenized: Miles’ phrasing, (some of) his sense of space and dark, elastic sense of rhythm, the pointed, needle-in-the-red zone crackle of Soft Machine, Nucleus and (the earliest edition of) Weather Report and the corrosive pugnaciousness of (the first & second editions of) Tony Williams Lifetime (not to mention a touch of Les McCann’s genial earthiness) and bake them into chunky, bite-sized morsels (10 in all). The tunes are catchy and immediate, the textures shimmering and ethereal without doing the formless bland-out, the rhythms have enough punch to earn the Sly Stone Seal of Approval (and perhaps even the Hugh Hopper Hi-5) and the musicianship, while tight and accomplished, avoids the slick self-satisfaction that plagues most contemporary Fusion. While some of us old-schoolers might find this a tad entertainingly derivative (not in a bad way, that is to say), younger fans of the neo-fusion of Medeski, Martin & Wood, Will Bernard, TJ Kirk, Woodenhead and Derek Trucks should go on a search-and-enjoy mission for this posthaste.
Artist / Group Name:Erik Truffaz
CD Title:The Walk of the Giant Turtle
Record Label:Blue Note
Tracks:Scody Part I, Scody Part II, King B, Flamingos, Turiddu, Next Door, Belle De Nuit, Wilfried, Seven Skies, The Walk of the Giant Turtle
Musicians:Erik Truffaz (trumpet); Patrick Muller (Fender Rhodes, piano); Marcello Giuliani (bass); Marc Erbetta (drums)