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Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio: Sources

Here's a rather unique one from the always dependable folks at ECM Records. Sources is the brand new release from the Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio, a band that features a rather different take on the 'trio' format. Comprised of French clarinetist Louis Sclavis, Benjamin Moussay on piano, Fender Rhodes, and other keyboards, plus guitarist Gilles Coronado, the Atlas Trio stray from the usual 'piano-bass-drums' or 'sax/trumpet-bass-drums' format that we normally see in jazz.

The uniqueness of this trio becomes quickly apparent on opener "Près d'Hagondange" as Sclavis' quirky clarinet lines intermingle with the intricate melodies of Moussay, while Coronado's quick staccato riffing keeps a gentle, almost percussive feel underneath. "Dresseur de nuages" is a mournful vehicle for Sclavis, while "La Disparition" kicks things up a notch, as Coronado's funky licks trade off with both Sclavis and Moussay. "A Road to Karaganda" features more guitar riffs, with Sclavis soaring over the top and Moussay contributing some electronic coloring, eventually giving way to a scorching, distorted rock solo from Coronado, echoing both Bill Frissell and Terje Rypdal. Sclavis' haunting clarinet hovers over Moussay's Fender Rhodes on the mysterious title track, and "Migration" is a mingling of complex melodies with clarinet, piano, and guitar all battling for supremacy yet coming together in the end. "Quai Sud" reminds of the classic group Oregon, thanks to some eclectic arrangements that are pastoral yet at the same time close to avant-garde, while the tranquil "Along the Niger" has some of the most gorgeous and haunting melodies on the album. Sclavis lets loose some dissonant notes on the eerie "Outside of Maps", and the 7-minute closer "Sous Influences" is perhaps the most avant-garde number on the CD, with Sclavis starting things off with some off-kilter bass clarinet bleatings that give way to Coronado's funky riffs and Jan Hammer/Joe Zawinul/Chick Corea styled Fender Rhodes noise courtesy of Moussay, who does a great job of channeling those classic fusion records of the late '60s and early '70s.

Sources is without a doubt a challenging listen from the Louis Sclavis Atlas Trio, and a tad different from some of the usual fare that ECM serves up, but it's a successful collection of adventurous, mood incucing music that any lover of dark jazz and even prog rock should enjoy.

Track Listing
1) Près d'Hagondange
2) Dresseur de nuages
3) La Disparition
4) A Road to Karaganda
5) Sources
6) Migration
7) Quai Sud
8) Along the Niger
9) Outside of Maps
10) Sous Influences

Added: July 31st 2012
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ECM Records
Hits: 1859
Language: english

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