Since I still have my old Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums (should I have admitted that? Maybe not) I was intrigued at this band's borrowing of the name, in however oblique a manner. Francois Lindemann wields a hot Fender Rhodes and his e-piano has a ring modulator on which he acquits himself well in a manner akinto Keith Jarrett in his stint with Miles Davis in the early 1970s. Simply delicious! Philippe Ehinger's clarinets and bass clarinets add some 20th-century chamber-music spice ("Le Bleu" has him blowing highly structured loops against Lindemann's acoustic piano), and Raphael Pitteloud is a wizard of the cymbalsand the hand percussion a la Trilok Gurtu. There's very little free playing: this trio seem more interested in welding the articulate funk of Weather Report's I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC to the articulate French absurdists such as Etron Fou Leloublan or Volapuk. The CD is especially a treat on headphones because Pitteloud's percussion kit sits astride the stereo mix. When I say he's 'all over the place' (as in the rhythmc "Technolite" ) I mean it in two separate ways! "Gama"'sslyly humorous bass clarinet parts have a Charlie Chaplin agility, and "Le jaune"is a lovely trance ballad. These folks have it together: a tasty mix you would not expect. Quiet fireworks, unlike the band that used the name first.
by Ken Egbert
Jazz Now Interactive
Copyright Jazz Now, October 2003 issue, all rights reserved