French multi-reedman Louis Sclavis renders a musical portraiture of artist Ernest Pignon- Ernest’s charcoal and silkscreen drawings, placed on various walls
throughout Naples. Hence, a Neopolitan foundation complete with lucid imagery serves as the underlying motivations behind this superb musical venture.
Simply put, Sclavis is a musical chameleon who generally yields multifarious surprises on each subsequent recording. And while he’s unpredictable in scope, the artist intimates an identifiable persona, clearly depicted on his ECM recordings and sessions with other modern jazz notables. This is an electro-acoustic brew, where bittersweet chamber-like passages, mysteriously evolve into motifs laced with subliminal EFX treatments and the band’s linearly enacted unison runs. Cellist Vincent Courtois acts as a colorist throughout, as he shades the music with quaintly executed riffs and electronics-based treatments. Moreover, trumpeter Mederic Collignon toggles between pocket trumpet, voices, percussion, and electronics. Nonetheless, the quartet surfaces as a true multi-tasking machine.
Sclavis intermittently soars to the red zone, as the ensemble’s disciplined methodology is offset by playful interludes, amid Hasse Poulsen’s fuzz toned rock guitar lines, and the musicians’ odd-metered expeditions. Essentially, Sclavis transfers abstract images into a recurrent medium that suggests an individualistic viewpoint, amid a domino effect that offers new perspectives. (Zealously recommended.... )