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Maimone, Gérard: A Dog on the Wall

Jazz keyboardist Gérard Maimone has been a well established musician for several decades, and A Dog on the Wall (a compilation of live tracks from 2002-2010) is a thoroughly interesting voyage into the traditional side of the genre. While its length makes it a bit tedious to enjoy all-at-once, overall, it's a gem for fans and collectors.

Maimone is perhaps most famous as a founding member of French fusion masters, Spheroe. After Spheroe disbanded in 1978, Maimone spent the next decade collaborating with Olivier Angele in Angel-Maimone Enterprise. For the last twenty years, Maimone has enjoyed a fruitful solo career as well as working with numerous other musicians, including Jean Cohen.

"Yacha" starts off the set with your standard nightclub jazz feel; the bass dances, the cymbals whisper, the saxophone(s) seduce, and the keys provide an elegant foundation. On the other hand, "Saudade" is a more mysterious and experimental piece; the piano plays repetitious chords while the saxophone exudes the stealth and frenzy of a snake. The title track allows for Maimone to show off some beautiful piano work as the percussion takes a more tribal route. Throughout A Dog on the Wall, various styles are exposed and augmented, helping to showcase just how inventive and diverse jazz can be while still sticking to only a few instruments and tempos.

The only real fault with the record is an inherent one—if you aren't a fan of traditional jazz, you may become bored quickly. Essentially, each musician sticks to their place throughout (with the saxophone taking the spotlight), so while the collection offers a lot of different styles and interpretations, there aren't many surprises.

A Dog on the Wall finds Gérard Maimone still at the top of his game. The musicians he uses are excellent, and as a whole, the band seems to perform with a shared mind. It's a bit odd that Maimone doesn't stand out more and demand attention (if I didn't know better, I'd think this was the saxophonist's album), but his presence is felt enough. If you're a fan of Maimone and/or jazz, A Dog on the Wall is an easy recommendation.


Track Listing
1 - Yacha (5'08)
2 - Saudade (4'42)
3 - Maureen (4'41)
4 - Ishtar (3'43)
5 - Love Words (3'55)
6 - Denver (3'17)
7 - Almeria (4'40)
8 - Zelda (6'16)
9 - Noche (4'11)
10 - Theme For Zaza (3'42)
11 - A Dog On The Wall (6'17)
12 - Jessie (2'54)
13 - Tcha (4'10)
14 - Zoe (3'19)
15 - Jorge (4'10)
16 - Blackbird (2'05)
17 - Smoothy Days (4'41)
18 - T.S.M. (2'04)

Added: May 7th 2011
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
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Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
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Language: english

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