This outstanding CD presents an exciting direction for 21st century jazz. French cellist Vincent Courtois performs unaccompanied on about half of the album's twelve tracks and performs duets with other players on the balance of the recording. Most of the cuts are freely improvised, Curtois's tender solo version of Georges Brassens' "Le Petit Cheval" being one notable exception.
Courtois and his accompanists come from diverse backgrounds, and the tonal palate is very rich despite the small number of musicians. Courtois has experience playing new classical and various ethnic musics as well as jazz, and his music reflects the diversity of this background. The two part "Vol D'Elephant" begins with a Celtic sounding cello solo and ends with a duet with a elphantine sounding Michel Godard on tuba. Experimental guitarist Noel Akchote adds some interesting sounds to pieces including "Soft Distortions."
All in all, a very intriguing set. This is Courtois's fifth CD as a leader and first for enja. Hopefully, there will be many more to follow.