Exposé Online banner

Jean Pascal Boffo — La Boîte à Musique
(Musea FGBG 4777.AR, 2007, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01

La Boîte à Musique Cover artOn La Boîte à Musique, guitarist Jean Pascal Boffo demonstrates yet again why he’s France’s answer to Steve Hackett. With every album, he reinvents himself into something new and yet familiar. With this one, Boffo returns to the intimacy of solo acoustic guitar as the centerpiece for each of the 12 tracks. Gorgeously warm, pastoral atmospheres spring forth that echo Anthony Phillips or Hackett circa Bay of Kings. Boffo shares Hackett’s sense of improvisation, letting himself wander through myriad connecting refrains and soliloquies that don’t necessarily evoke a compositional form, but manage to gel nonetheless. About half the tracks are truly solo renditions, though others such as the gorgeous opener “Un pont sur l’infini“ or “De l’autre côté du vent” employ a layered, multi-instrumental approach that begins with solo acoustic guitar, but then adds in additional guitars ranging from acoustics to ethereal electric guitar lines run backwards, creating an almost haunting backdrop. Boffo moves through some nuanced emotional and harmonic territory, sometimes evoking a lazy, hot summer’s day and at other times threatening the reverie with more ambiguous modalities, as on the title track. He sometimes uses a more expressionist brush, as on “La Ballerine” with its dance-like energy, or “Quiet Christmas” that would sound perfect on a cold winter’s day with a log on the fire. Fans of Hackett’s introverted acoustic side or even the ECM minimalism of someone like Steve Tibbetts will especially find much to enjoy here, and I can otherwise give this one an easy recommendation.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Jean Pascal Boffo

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nautilus - In Search of Castaways – The Prudence label based in Germany is well known for their output of nice, romantic music. This new release by a young band called Nautilus (Martin Ludwig: Keys, synthesizer and sequencer; Werner...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues