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Fractale - Live Suranné CD (album) cover





3.66 | 40 ratings

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4 stars I'll be honest, because I'm an honest fellow; upon being summoned by this group, Fractale, to listen to and review this album, I was not expecting anything special at all and had low hopes (I'm typically the pessimist type). To my great surprise, Suranne turned out to be an absolutely wonderful listen and has started off this new year with a positive note (though this isn't a 2012 recording).

I'm usually not so satisfied with the noisy and super-active post-bop or avant-garde jazz improv artists that are very popular because it only comes off as just that: noisy improvisation. Improvisation obviously works great with jazz, and being able to improvise well says a lot about the musicians, but I mostly have a taste for song-based jazz that sticks to a memorable riff and has tasteful and sparse improvisation as an additive. On Suranne, Fractale play a very memorable, dark, forceful, and somehow very smooth type of jazz that is very reminiscent of the earlier French jazz-rock style of zeuhl, but eshews the imperialistic chanting or operatic vocals and instead focuses on the jazz aspect. Though the tracks themselves are memorable and relatively simple, the tasteful and reserved improvisation is obvious, and the fact that these musicians are able to play in such a reserved style while still proving that their musicianship is impeccable really speaks to me as a listener and shows that these musicians are definitely highly skilled in their craft.

To compare the music on Suranne to other artists or albums, I'd have to say that the music here has a similar tone and infectious grooving tendency as Weidorje's only album albeit less distorted and with more emphasis on horns. There is also a considerable touch of kosmische electronic music that really adds to the overall dark, unearthly mysteriousness of this album. I'm definitely no expert on trumpet, but the tone and overall playing of the trumpets present here almost sound comparable to a much more energetic Mathias Eick, which is a huge compliment. In comparison to other style of jazz: this album sounds like equal parts zeuhl, jazz-fusion, and nu-jazz.

The only problem that I have with this album is that it is too short (just over 27 minutes), but this isn't entirely bad; the short length has me craving more, and I'll be willing to jump instantly at the chance to listen to Fractale's next release. Very well done, very impressive jazz.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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