French trumpet player Fabrice Martinez has a faultless technique that enables him to fit into any musical context. He played with reggae singer Alpha Blondy, Afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, modern jazz ensembles as pianist Andy Emler’s MegaOctet, sax player Thomas de Pourquery’ Supersonic and bass player Claude Tchamitchian group and now he plays with the acclaimed National Orchestre de Jazz (ONJ). Martinez also leads his own quartet Chut! featuring longstanding accomplice, keyboards player Fred Escoffier, master bass player Bruno Chevillon and a colleague from ONJ, drummer Eric Echampard. Chevillon and Echampard have been working together as a rhythm section for two decades now, with guitarist Marc Ducret and in the group Caravaggio, among many others.
For «Rebirth», Chut! third album, Martinez composed pieces that are inspired by the Motown spirit of the seventies. You can hear that era iconic keyboards as the Hammond B3, Fender Rhodes and analog synthesizers, vintage trumpet and bass fuzz effects, but Chut! does not attempt to recreate the seventies sound and consciously avoids fusion-like pyrotechnics show-offs. Martinez clever compositions reconstruct that era groove with an updated, fresh feeling, incorporating elements of avant-jazz, art-rock neo-soul and hip-hop. This kind of steaming musical stew brings to mind the the inclusive aesthetics of Miles Davis electric groups of the early seventies.
Chut! operates as a powerful, four-headed beast. Echampard sets an addictive, urgent pulse, Chevillon dances around this pulse and expands it all the time with an effects-laden, mean and highly imaginative bass playing, Escoffier colors the driving pulse with layers of spacey-psychedelic keyboards flights and Martinez wrapps this sensual groove with his commanding, expressive lyrical playing. Pieces like «Smity» and «Derrière La Colline» represent best Chut! strong, rhythmic sensibility. These pieces suggest tempting, dance moves, still, both leave enough space for all four musicians to improvise on its rhythmic pattern.
Fabrice Martinez (tp, flh), Fred Escoffier (keys), Bruno Chevillon (b), Eric Échampard (dr), Stéphane Bartlet (g)