Fall 2007, French pianist Loïc Dequidt formed a new quartet, featuring the Scottish sax star and a Swedish rhythm section of the highest caliber. He composed new music for this occasion and the group made a tour of Sweden and recorded the album “Nomade”, available here and now!
Tommy Smith – saxophones
Loïc Dequidt – piano
Mattias Hjorth – double bass
Peter Nilsson – drums
Loïc Dequidt got his education in France and Italy, studying jazz, classical harmony and Indian tabla – from masters in each ﬁeld. He has established himself on the European jazz scene as a soloist, sideman, composer and bandleader. He moved to Sweden in 2003, a move that has also affected his music. In 2006, Loïc Dequidt Trio released “Layers” (KOPACD 011), an album that was very well received in both Sweden and France.
Tommy Smith‘s CV, since touring and recording the Whiz Kids (ECM Records) album with vibraphonist Gary Burton at the age of eighteen, includes a total of twenty-three albums under his own name. He has recorded and toured with world-renowned jazz musicians including Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Benny Golson, Joe Locke, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Tommy Flanagan, John
Scoﬁeld, John Patittucci, Miroslav Vitous, Arild Andersen, Trilok Gurtu, Jack DeJohnette, Jon Christensen and Kenny Wheeler.
Loïc Dequidt and Tommy Smith ﬁrst played together in 1994 in Lille, France. Since then, they have done various projects and performed in France, Belgium, Scotland and Yemen.
Mattias Hjorth and Peter Nilsson are – together or separately – some of the most in demand rhythm section players in Sweden.
This new quartet is something of a dream team for Dequidt and the four members really found each other musically from the very ﬁrst moment. Their music combines the energy in jazz and Nordic airiness. Each composition has its own story and inﬂuences - from Gipsy and Ethiopian music to Scandinavian jazz - and it might be a good image of Dequidt's own musical personality as of today.
Review quotes on ’Nomade’
”Loïc Dequidt makes exciting and original music - pure, bright modern jazz, with original melodies and chord progressions. Dequidt compositions have an extended arch and the quartet also plays several atmospheric ballads. Tommy Smith impresses with facility and dramatic soloing.”
- Alexander Agrell/Sydsvenskan
”Smith wanders between the light and sensual and the hard and heavy. Behind him, Dequidt weaves his chords on the piano, light as a feather, aptly supported by the rhythm team of Mattias Hjorth and Peter Nilsson. Dequidt uses the inspiration he’s gotten from different types of music, including gypsy, Arabic and Nordic music, in his own writing. He mixes it up and has created a musical world of his own. He’s free and curious and possesses a musical individuality that makes him and his quartet well worth listening to.”
- Mats Palmqvist/Lira
”Record of the week.” “Nomade features pianist Loïc Dequidt, who is as interesting as he is original. Dequidt’s music is hard to categorize, at times it sounds like Monk and Satie simultaneously - cheeky, unpredictable and beautiful. Saxophonist Tommy Smith is in many ways similar to Dequidt - he’s also pleasantly unpredictable. Behind them, we find the tightest rhythm team imaginable: bassist Mattias Hjorth and drummer Peter Nilsson. You’d probably have to cross the Atlantic to find more solid and sensitive support. The music on Nomade is varied, and solely composed by Loïc. Original ballads are mixed with up tempo pieces, and the result is very compelling.”
- Jan Olsson/Skånska Dagbladet
”The quartet presents a tight and moving interplay, with improvised sections that shows understanding and sensitive listening among the musicians. Nordique feels like a collective meditation that can take any direction it wants. The quiet Final Play features restrained dialogues between Dequidt and Smith, while Harris Tweed is a robust, straight ahead piece. The compositions are used as springboards for these skilled and creative improvisers.”
- Olle Hernegren/Nya Wermlandstidningen
”Dequidt’s playing is impressionistic and created with inspiration from such diverse sources as Ethiopian and gypsy music. The two Swedes, Hjorth and Nilsson, are among the most in demand Swedish musicians, and for a reason - their understanding of, and ability to enter into Dequidt’s thoughtful compositions is exemplary. While listening to the album, one can definitely sense some Nordic inspiration, like in Amhara, but there is also added some warmth to the Nordic coolness.”
- Niels Overgård/Jazznyt.blogspot.com
”The titles of Loïc Dequidt’s albums describes his music very well. On his trio record, Layers, the music consisted of layers that were either intertwined or contrasting each other. On his new release, the quartet album Nomade, the music wanders more freely. Even when Dequidt persistently repeats a reduced phrase, as in Final Play, there’s a spacious openness to the music. Saxophonist Tommy Smith moves between the meditative and the hard bop-heavy, but constantly in nuanced harmony with Dequidt’s seeking piano figures, Mattias Hjorth’s sensitive bass playing and the open rhythmical approach of drummer Peter Nilsson. The music mixes diverse elements into a deeply individual entirety.
- Magnus Eriksson/Svenska Dagbladet