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Alex Terrier: Saxophones, Composition Roy Assaf: Piano François Moutin: Bass Steve Davis: Drums Akira Ishiguro: Guitar Edouard Brenneisen: Guitar
The Spirit Will Not Descend Without A Song
E.S.B. And Ecstasy
Song For Keli
Le Miroir Des Anges Déguisés
Ton Coeur De Petite Fille Est Mort
The Dark Side Of Democracy
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The album "Roundtrip" features Roy Assaf on piano, François Moutin on bass and Steve Davis on drums. Also guitarists Akira Ishiguro and Edouard Brenneisen appear as special guests on 4 tracks. This album comes as a 3-panel digipack.
"Roundtrip" Gift Download Code
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Playalong - Roundtrip
Practice these songs with my band! this is the recording minus the saxophone track. Drums is on both channels, piano is only on the right channel and bass on the left, so you can practice also these instruments!
Matt Marshall, Jazz Inside NY, March 2010
"A lengthy original album of 11 energetic tunes that demonstrate a surprising sophistication. Terrier thrives in richly varied musical contexts, his compositions play with time and shifting tempos reminiscent of his influences, saxophonists Wayne Shorter, Bobby Watson and Ornette Coleman"
"Terrier, who plays soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, plays with great maturity and drive"
Richard Kamins, All About Jazz New York
"It's a very sophisticated, swinging kind of jazz and every song (all written by Terrier) has it's own personality, from the urbane, fluent beauty of "Tompkins Square" to the Ornette Coleman stream of consciousness of "The Dark Side Of Democracy." On top of that, Terrier's soprano sax is very distinctive, in a good---read, lyrical---kind of way. Roundtrip is solid from beginning to end"
Jazz Life (Japan)
"An album with so much on the ball it has to make you jealous even if you don’t play sax, this set of all originals is an accomplished work that delivers the goods so mightily you forget that he has a long road ahead of him yet. Certainly a young lion to add to your play list, he plays nu mainstream with a surety that comes with having nothing to prove and just letting the blowing flow. Hot stuff and a great new find"
Chris Spector, Midwest Record
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About The Album
My longtime friend Roy Assaf was already my first call pianist back in the days when we were studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I am glad and honored to have him in my band. He is one of the greatest pianists on the scene in NYC. I think his playing is very sensitive and lyrical and he can swing his butt off.
François Moutin is most probably one of the top 5 bass players in the world! I still hardly realize he is part of my band. It is a great honor to share the stage and make music with him. But primarirly I am delighted to have him as a friend.
Steve Davis has become in a very short time one of my dearest friends in NYC. Amazing drummer with a very interesting personality, his musicianship is simply outstanding. I enjoy very much beating him at chess and ping-pong. He also has an incredible amount of crazy stories that happened to him. Mucho fun SD!
Guitarist Edouard Brenneisen is one of my best friends and my partner in crime #1! I knew he would bring the sound and the sensitivity I needed on the tracks he is invited.
Akira Ishiguro is also guitarist and a friend I met in Berklee. He is actually one of the first musicians I met when I came in the US and he has helped me a great deal. Akira is a wonderful guitar player and composer who also appears on my first album Stop Requested.
Questions About This Album?
ESB And Ecstasy
Song For Keli
One need not dwell in jazz music’s past to realize that recent concerns about standardization merit qualification. The new album by saxophone player, Alex Terrier, a French-born, Brooklyn-based, recent graduate of Berklee College of Music provides a strong case for the complex role of post-secondary jazz education in the face of the controversy surrounding the standardization of contemporary jazz music. Mr. Terrier’s album, aptly titled Roundtrip, points to the multi-directional cultural borrowings and influences that make up a maturing artist like himself and that complexify any crude notion of cultural standardization that posits one source of cultural determination.
Roy Assaf on piano, Francois Moutin on bass, and Steve Davis on drums (with special guest appearances by guitarists Akira Ishiguro and Edouard Brenneisen) join Terrier on eleven highly diverse pieces that together create a rich canvas of colors, moods, and images. Starting from the hard-edged and bruising first track, ‘Roundtrip’, in which Terrier storms head on to his flight in what seems to be a ‘Concord’ jet, and continuing with such tracks as the loose and seductive ‘E.S.B. and Ecstasy’, or the schizophrenic ‘Le Miroir des Anges Déguisés’ (to which Mr.Ishiguro contributes a highly effective guitar solo), the album provides not only a glimpse into Mr. Terrier’s rich inner world, but also a testimony to the power of a close-knit group of musicians to weave a conversation of more than an hour that almost never fails to fascinate. ‘The Dark Side of Democracy’ is a case in point; Mr. Terrier and his superb rhythm section respond to one another with such attentiveness that the only problem I can think of in the context of this tune is that if this is the ‘dark side of democracy’, then democracy is a truly beautiful thing in every respect. I doubt Mr. Terrier intended his tune to evoke such an interpretation.
Terrier’s compositions are hard to categorize. They are varied in their form, harmonically and rhythmically complex, and they clearly draw on his classical music background as well as his cosmopolitan life experience. In dialogue with great jazz artists (Wayne Shorter in ‘Roundtrip’), jazz standards (Night and Day in ‘Overnight Flight’), as well as his hometown, Paris (‘Le Miroir Des Anges Déguisés’), and African American history (Amiri Baraka in ‘The Spirit Will Not Descend Without A Song’), Terrier draws inspiration from various sources. His impressive command of the alto and soprano saxophones allows him to fill in the contours of his compositions with a variety of tonal shades, from the velvety to the abrasive, and with rhythmical sophistication that blends well with the telepathic-like responsiveness of his rhythm section.
At times, though, the faster-paced tunes are more convincing than the ballads. Terrier’s tone, execution, and vocabulary seem to function better in the neck-breaking tunes that make his album, literally, a tour de force, rather than in the slower tunes. It is an interesting discrepancy, one that might bring us back to the aforementioned criticism against post-secondary jazz education, one of whose main points is that the current pedagogical system places an un-proportionate emphasis on ‘chord-scales’ and ‘patterns of improvisation’, an emphasis that leaves students at a loss when it comes to slow-paced tunes that require spacious phrasing, the use of silence, lyricism, and evocative timbral manipulations and identities.
While that might be the case, the question of standardization should be addressed within a broader discussion that takes into account the social forces within which young musicians such as Mr. Terrier find themselves at the present historical moment in jazz’s history. For it seems that the world in which they try to create their music provides them with very little incentives to diverge from the lowest common musical denominator. Inattentive audiences, indifferent venue managers, lack of proper remuneration, the almost total absence of institutional support, and, indeed, increasingly commodified jazz programs that impart information rather than knowledge–it is almost a wonder that given these conditions, Mr. Terrier and other young musicians manage to produce what is frequently music of the highest quality. It is a testimony to their dedication, resilience, and the sacrifices they are willing to make in an era that no longer puts any significant premium on Romantic notions of art and creativity, and that thus does not remunerate even symbolically such sacrifice, but rather views it as sheer irrationality.
To be sure, such unfavorable conditions have been part and parcel of jazz music from its very beginnings, and great music has been produced nevertheless. Yet it was not produced by every jazz musician that has laid his or her hands on an instrument. Standardization is a relative concept. Judging from Mr. Terrier’s recent album, there is every reason to believe that he would be one of those musicians who would be able to contribute something new to the music. Indeed, he is already doing this. For Mr. Terrier’s is a roundtrip and perhaps even a multi-sited flight. Post-secondary jazz education’s role in the standardization of jazz music notwithstanding, Mr. Terrier reminds us that cultural reproduction is an open-ended process, in which creative musicians borrow from multiple sources to produce something that is more than the sum of its parts. I can think of no better response to the threat of standardization than such creativity.