All About Jazz – Jazz In Its Present Tents | Jazz sets up camp throughout different geographies—and centuries
” data-original-title=””>Club d’Elf and their sprawling live records present a unique challenge to folks who write about them. This double Live at Club Helsinki set reveals every modern style and multiple Moroccan rhythms (except for opera and bluegrass—maybe). But often we want so much to relate or explain these sounds, and there’s so much going on in so many different combinations, that our explanations eventually grow so complicated that they lose their soul. Soulless is no way to address this music.
The other challenge reads like a cop-out but it’s nonetheless true: These cats aren’t just musicians, they’re magicians. Good luck explaining magic.
(Very) Loosely directed by drummer Dean Johnston and bassist
” data-original-title=””>Mike Rivard (who also has roots in the Boston Pops Orchestra,
” data-original-title=””>Either/Orchestra, and Morphine), Helsinki very much suggests Club d’Elf’s version of the
” data-original-title=””>Grateful Dead‘s legendary live opus Europe ’72> (Warner Bros.): It spotlights remarkable, genre-bending solos by Rivard (including sintir),
” data-original-title=””>John Medeski (piano, keyboards), Duke Levine (guitar), Brahim Fribgane (oud, one of the world’s oldest stringed instruments) and DJ Mister Rourke—but never, ever at the expense of the band’s collective dense, hypnotic grooves.
One disc one, Rivard lays down the melody of “Mogador” then hands it over to Medeski, whose solo on grand piano—a