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Le Trio Voyageur — Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan
(Circum-Disc microcidi028, 2022, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-10-13

Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan Cover art

Furinkazan: Wind, Forest, Fire and Mountain — war standard used by Takeda Shingen, daimyo of the Sengoku period, based on a quote from The Art of War by Sun Tzu. While the title may refer to ancient Japan, the music herein does so only occasionally, more often resembling an original take on the modern jazz idiom. At the heart of the trio is Ludovic Montet who composed all of the material, played vibraphone and percussion, as well as vocals. Stefan Orins plays piano and vocals, and Charles Duytschaever plays drums and provides more voices. All three have been involved in the Muzzix collective, and we have covered a number of Orins’ releases over the years in Exposé. With vibraphone, piano and percussion at its core, partly composed with plenty of open space for improvisation, one might initially be reminded of the Chick Corea and Gary Burton duo during the quieter passages, but when the drums pull their full power or the trio takes a sojourn into more unusual and eccentric directions, the results can be sublimely original, informed by touches of classical, rock, traditional, and world music as the album unfolds. The first couple numbers take to the conventional jazz road, but with the third piece, “Nara,” the more esoteric influences begin to reveal themselves. The title track is primarily an invention for chanting and multiple percussionists, with its strong taiko flavor. Mostly, this is an instrumental endeavor, but the vocals, where they do crop up are quite interesting. After the title cut the album then moves into far more interesting territory that eludes many of the standard jazz ideas that it began with, evoking a strong sense of adventure. With that said, Fu-Rin-Ka-Zan makes for a powerful and interesting listen beginning to end.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Stefan Orins, Le Trio Voyageur

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