LIBERTÉS • Michel Tirabosco Trio • GALLO 1273 (69:03)
PIAZZOLLA Prepárense. Lo que vendrá. Adiós Nonino. Oblivion. BOLLING Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio: Baroque & Blue; Irlandaise. Toot Suite: Mystique. IBERT Entr’acte. Read more class="COMPOSER12">ALBÉNIZ Sevilla. GRANADOS Spanish Dance No. 5. BARTÓK Romanian Dances. MACHADO Pé de moleque. TRADITIONAL Beka roka. Romance. Cintecul. IMPROVISATION Michel. Franck. Jean-Marie
How should one classify this recording? As jazz or classical? Or something in between? All three members of the Tirabosco Trio have had extensive formal training. Leader Michel Tirabosco, who plays the panpipes, studied in Geneva and has had performing experience with both Christian Benda and Gheorge Zamfir. (He has several albums of flute music played on the panpipes on the Gallo label.) Franck Cottet-Dumoulin, who studied music theory at a university but is also a self-taught bassist, has always been as passionate about modern jazz as about classical music. And pianist Jean-Marie Reboul, the oldest of the three (b.1953), is as passionate about “active relaxation” in music, linking music and energy, as he is about playing his instrument. Fate brought these three men together (“one day” is the vague information in the booklet) to perform, and one of the fruits of their labors is this startlingly original CD. Tirabosco mentions in an interview that he was freelancing in a tango quintet when he met Cottet-Dumoulin, the bassist. They agreed in their goal “to innovate and move away from the traditional way of playing.” In search of a pianist, they ran across Reboul and the trio was set.
To put it as clearly as is possible, the album presents classical pieces with a jazz feeling and jazz pieces with classical structure. All of the music is played in a relaxed manner, with Tirabosco’s panpipes slurring and swooping through glissandos that at times almost sound atonal. I will say this: These are the absolute best performances of Piazzolla’s tangos I’ve yet heard on disc, certainly far better than Aquile Delle-Vigne’s half-dead piano performances on Naxos. Listeners familiar with Claude Bolling’s marvelous Continental-Bach-styled jazz will be as delighted by the three pieces given here as I am (although Irlandaise sounds oddly like a familiar Christmas tune).
When you reach Albéniz’s Sevilla, you may be confused yet again whether this disc is classical or jazz. Despite the lively performance, this is played fairly close to the score. Bartók’s early Romanian Dances are played like the folk music they came from, which dovetails nicely with the two traditional tziganes. Fittingly, the CD ends with three solo improvisations by each member of the trio, first Michel, then Franck, and then Jean-Marie. Needless to say, Franck’s is the loosest in jazz rhythm and the most inventive, but Jean-Marie isn’t far behind in inventiveness, though his solo is characteristically spaceier.
One thing in closing: If you take the time to go through this entire CD in one sitting, you may never hear music the same way again. Ten stars!