Exposé Online banner

Raphaël Pannier Quartet — Faune
(Bandcamp French Paradox, 2020, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-10-15

Faune Cover art

In the growing roster of jazz drummers who are also skilled composers, Raphaël Pannier is a new entry. His debut album as leader features saxophonist Miguel Zenon as a player and musical director, and the music displays some of the qualities that make Zenon’s music so engaging. European Classical music (especially that of French composers) is dear to Pannier’s heart, and he adapts pieces by Ravel and Messaien on Faune, as well as Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter, and Hamilton de Holanda; there are also seven of his own compositions. The quartet consists of Pannier and Zenon, bassist François Moutin, and two different pianists on different tracks: Giorgi Mikadze and Aaron Goldberg. Occasional electronics are provided by Jacob Bergson. The set begins with a lovely take on Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” that features great solos from Zenon and Moutin, who also shines on Pannier’s “Midtown Blues.” Messaien’s “Le Baiser de l’Enfant Jésus” is adapted quite appropriately, with its impressionistic melodicism transferred from solo piano to jazz quartet. There are many echoes of the original virtuoso piece in the piano part (Mikadze on this one), probably including some of the spectacular runs and arpeggios verbatim, while Zenon’s sax pulls out the core notes which are sometimes obscured by all of Messaien’s ornamentation. It works quite nicely as a sophisticated jazz piece, and without reading the credits, a listener might not realize it was an arrangement of a Classical piece from 1944. Shorter’s “E.S.P.” gets a great arrangement and an outstanding solo from Zenon. “Capricho de Raphael,” written by de Holanda, is another standout track, with a latin flavor and excellent piano from Goldberg. In many ways Faune is a modern take on the Third Stream music that began in the late 50s, but no matter what you call it, this ensemble smokes through a tasty set of tunes.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Miguel Zenón, Giorgi Mikadze, Raphaël Pannier

More info

Latest news

New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Emiliano Sicilia - Devotion Materialize – Now that we are in the era of cut-and-paste music, there are many more possibilities for bizarre juxtaposition of sounds and styles than back in the days of tape editing. Italian guitarist Emiliano...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues