I've lately got entirely thrilled by the two jazz musicians, both trumpet players, Erik Truffaz
and Nils Petter Molvær
. It rarely happens these days that I get a 'wow' listening experience. Fortunately, those two guys did that to me, having created an exalted presence atmosphere with just their recordings. Not all of their pieces and albums are equally inspiring, but definitely there are genial insights there.
Listening to Molvær can often create an impression that there's no trumpet out there. More often, it's more of a singing into the instrument impression. Of what I've heard so far, he is more up to dark mood, experimental sounds, and stylistic fusion in his music. Inventive, versatile and sometimes surprising, Nils Petter Molvær is also known as a film music composer.
Following the tradition of encyclopedists who first attempted at deconstruction of European hegemonism, Erik Truffaz well embraces the whole world of cultures and musics. On his guest musicians list, you will find finest performers of negro spirituals and Indian classical music, sounds of Latin carnival and Parisian boulevards. With that said, Erik Truffaz alway puts ahead a recognizable stylistic axis of modern jazz tracing back to Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, standard setters for that kind of thinking in music. Speaking of modern jazz roots, if one succeeds to create anything notable with no single reference to those two, that one would be clearly a genius who'd open up a new jazz era. Back to Truffaz, if you're looking for something to start with, go for Rendez-Vous
, which is basically a compilation of the artist's "journey" series (Benares, Paris, and Mexico are there, missing just Arkhangelsk
, a "Russian" page in that travel album). Benares
, presenting Truffaz's collaboration with pianist Malcolm Braff and a family of Indian classical musicians, Mukherjees, is not less but breathtaking. This one gives odds to the known Yehudi Menuhin – Ravi Shankar recording, West Meets East
I've also purchased the Mantis
album, which almost lacks any kind of "ethnic" background, but is just a remarkable jazz album.
When I was almost six, my Dad would ask me whether I wanted to study music. I answered, yes. Then he asked me, which instrument would I like to pick. For some unknown reason I said, trumpet. For another mysterious reason, my parents didn't take it seriously and decided I'd be a better pianist. Fast forwarding to the last decade, my two most important teachers in jazz (of those whom I've met in person and played or recorded with), though through the klezmer gate, so to speak, were Paul Brody
and Frank London
, both trumpet players. Ain't that amazing?