Albums

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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 5, 2018 | TRAIN FANTOME

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
It takes guts to name your album L’Odyssée. But Fred Pallem has always been a real jazz adventurer, never happy to let the genre just run its cause... And his 2018 release is yet another daring and dense piece of work, built around strong rhythms and delicious arrangements. Here, Pallem, alongside his trusty Sacre du Tympan creates some layered pieces, often very funky and very filmic. Nothing surprising there, when you think of his 2017 album Soul Cinema about blaxploitation and his homage to François de Roubaix published the previous year, two records which have rubbed off on Odyssée. The Odyssée experience is like watching a spoof film that's part thriller, part comedy, with a sort of 70s vintage feel to it. The arrangements are precise and well crafted and the soloist parts are always very original. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Contemporary Jazz - Released September 21, 2018 | Label Bleu

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS
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Contemporary Jazz - Released March 2, 2018 | ONJ Records

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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 17, 2017 | Laborie Jazz

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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 4, 2015 | Mina Agossi

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 25, 2016 | Les couleurs du son

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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 13, 2016 | Bonsaï Music

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 22, 2016 | Just Looking Productions

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Contemporary Jazz - Released September 15, 2012 | Laborie Jazz

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Choc Jazz Magazine - Choc Jazzman de l'année - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection JAZZ NEWS
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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 20, 2014 | Outnote Records

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Contemporary Jazz - Released March 28, 2014 | ACT Music

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Indispensable JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio
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Contemporary Jazz - Released February 21, 2014 | Nonesuch

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Hi-Res Audio
Mehliana is the recording and performing project of pianist and composer Brad Mehldau and drummer, composer, and electronic musician Mark Guiliana. The former is one of the most highly regarded artists in the jazz world; the latter, a decade his junior, is a celebrated sideman and the leader of the genre-defying Beat Music, an ensemble that deftly juxtaposes electronica, funk, jazz, prog rock, and more. Mehldau wrote half of the cuts on Taming the Dragon; the duo co-wrote the balance. This wild melange of keyboards, beats, textures, musical styles, samples, and electronic sounds reflects jagged yet accessible compositions and improvisations whose sonics are as important as their melodies. Mehldau plays synths, Rhodes, and acoustic piano, while Guiliana provides drums and other electronics. The title track is one of two spoken word pieces here. It commences with a near-ambient backdrop as Mehldau recalls a dream epiphany before the music gives way to a heavily fazed drum and synth workout that spirals to the margins as it closes. "Luxe" features a wound-out, fat-ass synth bass, pulsing Rhodes, and a martial backbeat that begins sparsely and hypnotically before it transforms into a cooking, futurist jazz-funk groove. "You Can't Go Back Now" is led by Guiliana's breaks and sampled voices before Mehldau's Squarepusher-esque synth introduce his Rhodes and acoustic piano; the track's dynamic tension increases until it becomes a space jazz anthem. The limber jazz-funk in "Sleeping Giant" deliberately recalls George Duke's MPS era recordings, though it contains Mehldau's knotty lyricism. "Gainsbourg" samples the French songwriter's "Manon" and "Ford Mustang." Initially, it feels like a cinema cue but, like everything else here, nothing is what it seems. Through quick editing its wacky, informal, and nearly hummable melody becomes a harmonic mosaic. "Just Call Me Nige" features nearly incessant breaks and in-the-pocket vamps by Guiliana (beatmakers will be sampling this guy, and this record, for years to come). It bridges the gap between dancefloor stepper and prog rock jam. Those beats provide a platform for Mehldau's Rhodes solo which evolves from blues to post-bop and his zig-zagging synth lines could be an update of Deodato's version of "Thus Spake Zarathustra." "Swimming" starts as a midtempo ballad but eventually approaches jazz-rock with a 10/8 meter and a labyrinthine Rhodes solo from Mehldau, while closer "London Gloaming" melds Radiohead-esque avant-pop, and atmospheric electronica. More conservative jazzheads will likely shake their heads in disapproval at Taming the Dragon, but this set is for anyone but them. Though it's quite sophisticated, this album is a hell of a lot of fun. Mehldau and Guiliana integrate all of the musical, stylistic, and technological elements at their disposal into an imaginative, provocative -- and focused -- whole. Fans of Marco Benevento and Medeski, Martin & Wood take note. ~ Thom Jurek
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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 9, 2012 | Outnote Records

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Le top 6 JAZZ NEWS - Hi-Res Audio
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Contemporary Jazz - Released September 14, 2012 | Nonesuch

Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Sélection JAZZ NEWS

Contemporary Jazz - Released April 23, 2012 | L'Autre Distribution

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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 9, 2011 | Outnote Records

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Contemporary Jazz in the magazine