Young French drummer Florian Chaigne is a classically-trained percussionist, who has experienced playing in rock and metal bands before continuing to study jazz and compositions. He founded local funk and jazz-world bands and now explores free-improvised music. This cross-disciplinary experience helped him to shape his first solo album, «Blooming».
Chaigne first recorded himself playing and improvising solo live. As he had the initial structure of the pieces he called a set like-minded musicians to the studio to expand and deepen the sketchy outlines of his improvisations. The 17 short and eclectic pieces in «Blooming» stress his hyperactive, groove-based and genre-blind playing, bringing to mind the drumming of American Jim Black or young Bobby Previte. All pieces highlight his commanding versatility.
The best pieces are actually the ones in which Chaigne steps out of his hyperactive comfort zone and experiences new sounds and textures. Pieces like «Gongs» «Missed Bells» and «Astres et désastres» suggest dramatic, Eastern-tinged spiritual rituals. The rolling and driving «Svalbard» with alto sax player Elie Dalibert and trombonist Alexis Persigan and «Varāha», again with Dalibert, highlight his improvised skills in an immediate, open-ended interplay. «Gold Fish» and «Bad Man», with spoken-word poet Taran Singh, are colored with ironic and clever percussion touches. «C’est assez…» and «Requiem for a Bird», both with double bass player Sylvain Didou, are exemplary and sensitive, free-improvised searches for newer sonorities and textures. Only the loud, funky-fusionist pieces like «What’s going’ on, man?» and «Bad Man» sound as based on flashy techniques with scarce emotional impact.
Florian Chaigne (drums, percussion), Taran Singh (poetry), Elie Dalibert (as), Gweltaz Hervé (ss, bs), Alexis Persigan (tb), Émilie Chevillard (harm), Mathieu Lagraula (g), Sylvain Didou (b),