on the Le Boeuf twins' previous album "Migration" (2005, LBJazz); especially regarding alto saxist Remy's playing - in terms of expanding palette of idioms, tone and phrasing - that transformed for the better in course of the three intervening years. Please bear in mind the LB Brothers were 21/2 years old at the time of the recording. Their third album presents through composed and arranged, dynamic contemporary jazz tunes, with engaging melodies and neatly filled segments for improvisations. Just like its predecessor, two alternating rhythm sections are employed: the more famous pair is made up of Matt Brewer (double bass) and Clarence Penn (drums) on tracks #3-4, 6-9, 11-12, whereas Billy Norris and Greg Ritchie are featured on the rest (#1-2, 5, 10).
A welcome addition to this repertoire is the influence of classical music/chamber jazz, as it is more prominent on four tracks (#3-6): the longest tune 'morning song' is a sweeping, multi-part piece, featuring - as elsewhere - Remy's emotionally charged, impeccably executed solo, which is followed by the bittersweet title track guesting the trumpet of Ambrose Akinmusire for the theme; while 'siddhartha in california' finds Remy on flute, alto flute and bass clarinet, with Pascal delivering a straight ahead piano solo seguing into Brewer's sinewy take on bass. The sleek 'tabula rasa' was written by the altoist twin (just as cuts #3, 7, 9-10).
#7 'save me from myself' shifts from poignant start to relaxed lyricism, with Akinmusire pulling off a soaring solo w/ praiseworthy intonation. #9 'chocolate frenzy' offers some angular ostinato and busy horns (alto and trumpet), w/ Remy unleashing his elaboration reminiscent of D. Binney or K. Garrett and Pascal providing steady, straight ahead piano improv. I really like tune #10 'valentine' for its carefree breeziness and charm...
Pascal Le Boeuf brought seven songs to the table, including the energetic, almost fusionesque opener 'code word', the elegiac #2 'wetaskiwin' in the mood of, say, Radiohead but with more subtlety - both compositions feature one Janelle Reichman on tenor sax in supporting role (audible on #10). The pianist sibling is also responsible for three short yet compact tunes under 4 minutes in length: #8 'coffee suite I: no drink, no think' and its part III, track #11 'exhaustion' are both little gems, the former starting off somewhat dark w/ a bit of arco bass, then picking up steam during its tango phase that is further developed in the latter part, with the added contribution of Marcus Strickland's spirited solo on soprano sax (elsewhere he contributes on tenor - #3, 8). The set concludes w/ the balladistic #12 'introspective moment' having a curt but expressive solo from Akinmusire. Total time: 62.12 min. Heartily recommended!