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«Crooked House»

In the beginning there was the Le Cube trio. French composer-sax player Alban Darche began his fascination with cubist painters ideas transformed into colorful, polyrhythmic textures with his Le Cube trio back in 2001. Later he developed his compositional ideas with the expanded ensembles of Le Gros Cube and L’OrphyCube. Now Darche returns to the core players of his cubic experiments, the Le Cube trio – himself on alto sax, double bass player Sébastien Boisseau and drummer Christophe Lavergne. But now augmenting Le Cube dynamics with American prolific tenor sax player Jon Irabagon, Belgian keyboards player Jozef Dumoulin and French reeds player Sylvain Rifflet (on three compositions).

The HyperCub reflects Darche rich language, drawing inspirations from the American modern jazz legacy as well from the European jazz. Or as Darche describes it – his music attempts to be a soundtrack to an imaginary, instant film, a sum of his sonic memories, or aims to: «rediscover equally the off beats of Steve Coleman, as well as the feminine sensuality of the sound of Paul Desmond». The album was recorded in New York and its opening piece, «Albanology», clearly reference Charlie Parker compositions as «Ornithology».

The presence of Dumoulin enriches the sonic palette of HyperCub, especially when he adds his otherworldly Fender Rhodes sounds. Irabagon adds BeBop sensibility and urgency to the clever compositions of Darche. Darche knows how to sketch multi-layered, subtle ideas that never surrender to a typical pulse, harmonic development or a straight-forward narrative. At times his compositions, as «Opium» and «Chanson de la maison» sound as offering conflictual, «crooked» ideas. The addictive, complex polyrhythmic beats veil the constant reconstructing and deconstructing of the fleeting themes by the saxes front and Dumoulin, through brief improvised solo segments. The warm emotional atmosphere of «Saudade» is suddenly pierced with weird, distant sounds that  disturb the comforting theme. Such compositions are delivered with reserved elegance and and fine humor, still, linger in mind as a musical enigmas.

Warmly recommended.

Eyal Hareuveni

Alban Darche (as), Jon Irabagon (ts), Jozef Dumoulin (p, Fender Rhodes), Sébastien Boisseau (b), Christophe Lavergne (dr), Sylvain Rifflet (cl, ts on 1, 7, 8)


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