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Jean Louis - Jean Louis CD (album) cover


Jean Louis



4.22 | 82 ratings

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2 stars While Jean Louis is a display of skilled avant-guard jazz performers and performances, I do not find this music very enjoyable--not even the awe- and/or laugh-effect carries the day for me. The bass and drums are too chunky and loud (respectively), making any other performances hard to concentrate on (for me) and, of course, the music is totally lacking in what some listeners enjoy most: melody. It is not lacking for effects, glitz, vim and vigor, but there are no memorable, 'hummable' melodies or riffs to take with you at the end of the listening experience. The four shorts (three of which are titled, "...") are either ear-splitting wank-offs ("Maximator" [6/10]) or pure practice pieces. As much as I've grown to appreciate and even enjoy the avant-gard music scene (prog, jazz, and classical), this is not an album that I find myself drawn into. Clear recording doesn't mask the odd choices for sound effects and loose song constructs. Wild elephants, trains, snakes, military vehicles and gorillas run rampant through my headphones as I try to get into or enjoy this music. At least Adrian Belew has some melody to suck you into his musical menagerie. Having owned the album for six months now I feel qualified to render my opinion. This is music for the bored, highly adventurous and intellectual musical listener. Yugen, Rational Diet, Swans, The Cardiacs, or even Factor Burzaco aren't as difficult to listen to, understand, and enjoy, IMHO. This is more comparable to Ornette Coleman.

The calmer "Zakir" (8/10) and more steady rhythmically "Chasseurs en transe" (8/10) are the songs I find most close to being enjoyable on the album.

Usually I would rate an album like this with four stars because I appreciate the musicianship and give the benefit of the doubt that it's music is just too far beyond my nave musical knowledge and comprehension but, sorry, my conscience just won't let me do it. This time I truly do not understand the hype.

BrufordFreak | 2/5 |


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