Thibault Falk 4tet - Pour la Chambre d'Aga
Composed by Thibault Falk. Recording mediums. CD. Duration 61' 19''. MDS (Music Distribution Services) #INT 33982. Published by MDS (Music Distribution Services) (M7.INT-33982).
Item Number: M7.INT-33982
A Frenchman in Berlin. With his confident debut album 'Pour la chambre D'Aga', the pianist Thibaut Falk swims against all currents of contemporary jazz, but he does so with so much verve, charm and imagination that one wants to follow him, wherever he and his piano may lead us. His soft and pulsating performance sounds inevitably familiar, his references to the jazz of the 1960s evoking things long unheard which still play an important role in our actual acquisition of the world though. The subtle Frenchman is conservative, in the most progressive sense of the word, yet never outdated - and that's what is making up his great skills. Thibaut Falk's music may be labelled with many different tags, from Neo Hardbop via Sophisticated Swing to Mainstream Jazz, but the warmth and individual closeness he creates with his compositions and his interpretation only allow for the label 'Thibaut Falk'.While the core of the European jazz elite is eager to dissociate itself from American-influenced jazz, Thibaut Falk finds his connections especially in the motherland of jazz. Even if many of his pieces are reminiscent of the great days of the Miles Davis Quintet, of John Coltrane or Gerry Mulligan, Falk's music is far from being a one-dimensional imitation of things already heard, or from adding something to the real 1960s.The strong point of Thibaut Falk's album is the passion with which he drags the past into the present. A volcano is simmering under his fingers which may erupt at any moment. Falk and his co-musicians keep this elemental force under control only by means of their imagination. Says Falk: 'We are not the kind of persons who constantly play at sessions.The influence of European classical music runs through the songs of this album like a stream of consciousness. Especially at the beginning of the first track, one thinks to be taken on a trip into the tonal world of French impressionism. However, Falk does not throw his classical obsessions squarely at the listener but hides them subtly in playful nuances.Thus, not only each piece but also the whole album of Falk develops a dramatic arc which is reminiscent of the films by Francois Truffaut. Starting with easily manageable tracks, he is getting more open towards the middle just to return to compact songs at the end. As if he would set off from a town into the open terrain and eventually arrive at another or even come back to the same town.The gourmet of jazz history may find in Thibaut Falk's pianism many sources, ranging from Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson and Lennie Tristano to Wynton Kelly and McCoy Tyner, even if the styles of these pianists may be mutually exclusive. But such similarities are only approximations. Falk sets great store by blending contrary impulses into a common flow under an integrated surface.Even if the band calls itself Thibaut Falk Quartet and the pianist is responsible for all pieces, saxophonist Yosh Yellon, bassist Gary Hoopengardner and drummer Marcin Lonak are no 'debit items'. Falk already tried various instrumentations before finding his current quartet. His originally democratic approach always led to a dead-end. 'It always takes a long time to find the right musicians. I met Marcin four years ago, then we separated for a while. In the beginning, we made the same mistakes, and it was important that we could develop separately. Gary and Yosh also work on other projects together. They are both Americans, a well-oiled machine, a permanent duo within the quartet. All musicians contribute ideas but I want to establish a clear line. But as soon as we start to play, I'm just as important as any other member of the quartet.'Thibaut Falk's music sounds familiar, not new. And that's exactly what it should do. The 33-year-old pianist rather sets store by finding himself in his playing, instead of always running after the next new influence. There is enough stress nowadays. Sometimes it's simply better to pause and see what one has got. If one always stuck to the latest hypes and trends, there soon wouldn't be anything new because the new things would get old faster and faster. What's important is to create something that survives the day. Thibaut Falk sets a counterpoint which is good for the sound of our time.