Julien Lourau - Vs Rumbabierta

Label Bleu LBLC 6690    ****
Lourau (ts, ss, as, v), Sebastian Quezada (v, perc), Onilde Gomez Valon (v, perc), Javier Campos Martinez, Abraham Manfa Mansfaroll, Miguel Puntilla Rios (perc, v), Felipe Cabrera (b), Eric Lohrer (g) and Maika Munan (g) Rec date not stated

Julien Lourau - Vs Rumbabierta
It seems that every jazz musician with an iota of curiosity has to embrace Afro-Cuban music at some point and Lourau’s already impressive discography, full of electronic, funk, Spanish and Latin influences, tells you all you need to know about his inquisitive nature. The Cuban ensemble Rumbabierta stands as apposite partners to the French saxophonist, laying down an incisive son montuno groove into which the leader and other main soloists, guitarists Lohrer and Munan cut quite joyously. Lourau’s performance is what one has come to expect over the years, his tone is rich and round but his phrasing is treading an increasingly creative line between mainstream and avant-garde sensibilities with pert micro-melodies and combustible exclamations contriving to find a happy co-existence.

While rhythmic richness might be the principle draw of this record there is something magical about both the chorus and lead vocals, both of which impart a compelling light and shade to the thicket of percussion that loosely recalls Steve Coleman’s The Sign And The Seal album. But then again the barrages of wah-wah guitar and snapping clave-led percussion devilishly enrich the idiosyncratic nature of the sound palette. In fact, the whole album has a freshness, verve and zest that take it far beyond another standard Latin jazz record.
Kevin Le Gendre

This review is taken from Jazzwise Issue #111, to read the most comprehensive review section of jazz and beyond and receive a  Free CD, subscribe here…