THOMAS CHAMPAGNE feat. Adam O’Farrill
(Belgium / NY)
With the album « Tide », sax-player Thomas Champagne dumps the superfluous and is determined to keep the spontaneity of a first encounter and the freshness of the first dialogues. Never break the flow of a passionate conversation.
Get to the heart of things. This is the promise of this recording.
Tell each other all there is to say. Let ideas come and go, back and forth, without hiding anything, spontaneously and sincerely. With this album – “Tide” – saxophonist Thomas Champagne gets rid of everything that is unnecessary. He is determined to keep the spontaneity of a first meeting and the freshness of the first dialogues. Never to disrupt the flow of a passionate conversation.
In this respect, he can depend upon his friends Guillaume Vierset (eg), Ruben Lamon (cb), Alain Deval (dm) and, above all, his guest, the formidable New York trumpet player Adam O’Farrill, who is probably not for nothing in this process.
Thomas and Adam met in New York where the saxophonist saw the American trumpet player perform on many occasions. Without further knowledge, Thomas then invited Adam in Belgium for a series of concerts and a possible recording. It was all or nothing in a way. But the chemistry worked from the first notes. The concerts quickly enriched the dialogue and the album naturally saw the light of day.
Throughout these 38 minutes of music (who needs more when everything has been said?) the pulse and the flow are present indeed. The rhythm is powerful, acute and always on the edge, but it can also create a more intimate atmosphere. There is nothing like it, open the doors and the windows and let the sounds of brass and guitar set off. This album IS breathing. It IS a breath of fresh air, it takes you out into the open, and some titles leave no doubt about this (“BreathBreath”, “Gentle Breeze” and of course last but not least, the eponymous title of the album: “Tide”).
The sound of Adam O’Farrill’s trumpet is at the same time direct, clear lively, but it can be smooth and sensual. Above all, it is as slippery as a wild eel going up a rushing river (take a listen to “Bad Date” or “Looking Forward”).
This generosity lets Thomas Champagne enjoy himself. The latter can freely wander and splash everyone with his music. This allows Guillaume Vierset to join in, body and soul. The guitarist releases his rock riffs, delivers his bluesy phrasing or lays down some sumptuous folk layers. This album is all about trust and balance, between harmonies and melodies, between laughter and murmurs, between risk-taking and research. The chemistry operates and intuition is at work (“Muse” is one of the most convincing example).
Fun is at the heart of this record. We take an obvious pleasure from these cunning exchanges that are alternatively hot, elegant or spiritual.
This album was recorded in one day and it does have the flavour of spontaneity and complicity! It is a catalyst of human adventure, the true sprit of jazz.
This cannot be explained, you have to experience it.
Adam O’Farrill, the 5th wheel of our new coach, is #1 (Rising Star Trumpet) by DownBeat’s Critics Poll 2019!
He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, into a family of musicians. His grandfather was legendary African-Cuban composer and arranger Chico O’Farrill, a multiple Grammy Award winner, and his father was pianist/composer Arturo O’Farrill. At 25, he is one of the leading figures of the trumpet in the Big Apple. His 2016 album “Stranger Days” received critical acclaim.
Alongside his own projects, he is a member of Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls (which won the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best Jazz Album in 2015), Stephan Crump’s Rhombal (alongside Ellery Eskelin and Tyshawn Sorey), Mary Halvorson’s latest Code Girl project and the Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100 (alongside Rudresh Mahanth. Terri Lyne Carrington, Charenée Wade, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier and DJ Kassa Overall).
He is a young consistently creative musician with open ears, an immense talent already sought after by the big American names. He has played with Vijay Iyer, Mulatu Astatke, Mary Halvorson, Steve Lehman, Christian McBride, Jason Lindner, Samora Pinderhughes, Onyx Collective, …
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