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«Les Usures»

The French Quintet Synestet is headed by clarinet player-composer Hélène Duret. Its debut, self-released album «Les Usures» rests on the rich legacy of Duke Ellington and Theloinious Monk, with spin on the chamber jazz spirit that begins with Jimmy Giuffre and presented today by Danish guitarist Jakob Bro, but with an updated, sensual spin «where the perception of music becomes a mix of colours, shapes and smells».

Duret’s melodic and simple compositions leave enough room for personal, inventive-improvised interpretations. She feels at home with a breathy, chamber atmosphere that highlights her immediate interplay with tenor sax player  Sylvain Debaisieux, but she also enjoys corresponding with challenging rhythmic patterns as on the opening piece «Colored clouds after an exibition».

Guitarist Benjamin Sauzereau is the secret of Synestet. When he takes the lead or a plays a major role this quintet suddenly leaves its loose, clean and chamber comfort zone and instantly pushes to the front its edgy, thorny sides. It happens on his own composition «Entendu» or the cinematic «La chose à éviter» and the aggressive, fusionist «Tout ça pour ça». All these pieces find their right balance and begin to shine with some dirty distortion, much needed tension while keeping the melodic flow.

Eyal Hareuveni

Hélène Duret (cl, bcl), Benjamin Sauzereau (g), Sylvain Debaisieux (ts), Fil Caporali (b), Maxime Rouayroux (dr)

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