|The musical journey of pianist Jacques Chanier has taken him from dance bands in the south of France in the 1970s to the creative edge today's percolating Boston scene. Quilt documents Chanier's working trio of the last four years, veterans of gigs together ranging from mainstream jazz clubs to hotel brunches to avant-garde art galleries. Here Chanier, bassist Thompson Kneeland and drummer Brooke Sofferman extend the venerable jazz piano trio with touchs of live electronics and alternative percussion while remaining true to the traditions of intimacy, sponteneity, elegance and swing which define the piano trio.
A foundation in Monk, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett and Mal Waldron (with mature players there are always multiple influences) is filtered through the radical '70s aesthetic of Frank Zappa and the Mahavishnu Orchestra (the leader's formative musical years), and anchored in the earthiness and romanticism of Chanier's experience working in orchestre de bal (dance bands which play everything from waltzes and tangos to rock and disco) during his early career. The result is a listenable, highly radio-friendly album that will find its way into jazz lovers' CD players and stay there.
Listeners who appreciate the recent work of Brad Mehldau and Kenny Werner, along with those who treasure the classics of the greats mentioned above, will enjoy Quilt.
Thompson Kneeland is in the next generation of technically accomplished and musically adventurous bassists trained in Boston. He leads his own band, Kalkalla, specializing in Balkan-influenced music, and stays busy as a sideman. Drummer Brooke Sofferman is also a well-regarded leader with two CDs out and has recorded with such luminaries as Jerry Bergonzi. Chanier himself is a regular in the band of saxophonist Henry Cook, a member of the Either/Orchestra and an Accurate recording artist whose Live at Montreux Detroit (AC-5036) features Chanier.