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Outre Mer by Garage a Trois

Outre Mer was written as a soundtrack for Klaus Tontine's brilliant story of a young man, who is perceived as severely different due to his short stature. The lad, Etienne de Nerval creates an inner world of fantasy to replace what is missing in his relationships with the general society in rural France.

His mental musings take him on a journey, searching for love and acceptance. Just at the moment he feels he has found the adoration he's been seeking, he discovers the object of his affection has become pregnant--possibly with another suitor's son.

Fancy fretwork, along with a Caribbean percussion opens the album with "Outre Mer." The fantasy of Etienne is felt as he dreams of a peaceful island where love and acceptance are the rule; a place where stature is no issue.

As the tempo perks, "Bear No Hair" Dillon tightens up on vibes, intensifying each moment as Skerik takes sax to a mysterious depth. Following with "The Machine," Etienne has found his exotic island and is approaching the much sought acceptance to the sounds of Hunter's persistent guitar riff, backed by Moore's tropical drumming. Skerik leads the walk to paradise on sax.

In love, on top of his game, Etienne doesn't realize he may be sharing his love, as the track "Etienne" rhythmically sets a sensuous island beat. The woman of his dreams, "Merpati," gives birth to a child of normal length, who ultimately grows into a six foot five inch tall man. Sadly, Merpati dies in child birth. Etienne raises his son, Antoine, never questioning the possibility that another man could be the father.

"Antoine" is a frenetic island groove, spunked with funk, just as a child's life might be lived at a quick pace, until Antoine joins the "Circus" where his height is accepted as part of nature, characterized by a throbbing drum beat and hallowed squeals of sax sounding like the roar of elephants.

Altering the tempo and the tone, "Needles" keeps the listener engaged. The album culminates with "Amanjiwo", as an exotic fantasy.

Following the story line, this album depicts the life and times of a troubled person who succeeds through love, who gives back through love of his child and ultimately dies at peace with himself as his son learns to celebrate his uniqueness, rather than allow society to ostracize him because of it.

Deep grooves, effective rhythms, infectious sax tell a story as mysterious as the music itself.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Garage a Trois
  • CD Title: Outre Mer
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Telarc
  • Musicians: Mike Dillon (vibraphonist/percussionist), Charlie Hunter (guitarist), Stanton Moore (drummer), Skerik (saxophonist)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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