Fabien Degryse is one of the best jazz guitarist of Belgium. He played with numerous bands in more than 20 different countries, he played on 15 records, and teaches in the Conservatorium of Brussels. He wrote a method for jazz improvisation, released in 1999 by the french Editions Combre, in Paris.
CD review from Mark Lush, Midwestbands.com, 1/31/06:
Musicianship – 10 out of 10
I’m about to tell you that Fabien Degryse and Co. are incredible jazz musicians who do not disappoint!! Bassist Roman Korolik, drummer Laurent Mercier, piano/organ guru Jozef Dumoulin, and guitarist Fabien Degryse are Superstars, combining their talents to make an incredible improvisational CD that has a little something for fans of all Jazz disciplines. Their skills are truly remarkable!
I can’t say that I’m any more impressed with one person in this group over another, either, because each is equally skilled, and able to play his instrument at a level comparable to that of the other members! I don’t know that using more words to try and describe the level of musicianship here will be effective at all: I simply need to stress to you that this is a record that you should hear, and the sooner you do so, the better! In an age where it’s increasingly difficult to find material that exceeds expectations, I think you will be sufficiently impressed. These guys are impressive musicians!
Songwriting – 10 out of 10
In consideration of the songwriting skills, Props go to Fabien Degryse, the mastermind behind each of these Jazz gems! Possessing skills equal to those of Jazz greats like Lee Ritenour and Chick Corea, Fabien creates music that is funky, smooth, and rich in texture and quality. The improvisational solos that each musician creates fit Fabien’s “big picture” really well, making each song a seamless work that stands the test of time! Unlike contemporaries in mainstream genres like Rock or Country, his songs seem to be timeless, standing up very well against the works of Jazz masters, both Modern and Historical! Jazz is a collection of great songs, written and performed by disciplined, creative Jazz musicians!
Sound Quality/Professionalism – 10 out of 10
I don’t know that I’ll be able to stress this enough, so if you could, please magnify your response to these words ten-fold: Jazz is an excellent sounding album! Percussion, bass, keys and guitar all sound really good, and are mixed with a professionalism that defies logic. You certainly have to hear this one to believe that it is anything but a major label Jazz release!
Overall Rating – 10 out of 10
It’s almost impossible to rate this CD with anything but a perfect score. The musicians that made Jazz are all first-rate players, and the songs are excellent compositions. The notes are not only played to perfection, they are played with panache, and a flair for what makes jazz music great!
Fabien Degryse is to be commended for two reasons: first, for creating 10 incredibly well-crafted compositions. Second, for assembling a group of musicians that are able to play his compositions really well! No kidding, this is a jazz album that any of the masters could have made back in the day! The sounds of every great Jazz ensemble in the last 4 decades permeate this album, and if I may say so, I think that this band ensemble has learned very well from the men and women who make Jazz music such a great genre!
I highly recommend that you get a copy of Jazz! It will soon become a permanent fixture in your CD player, no matter where you are! It’s suitable for the office, for the car, for parties, or to have on in the background at home! Very few artists of this caliber are still Independent musicians. Honestly, I’m surprised that Fabien Degryse hasn’t moved farther up the ladder in the jazz world! If I had any influence in the music business, I’d definitely make sure that I used it to further his career! Alas, and alack, I’m but a lowly CD reviewer!
Seriously, get your copy of the CD very, very soon!