Yvonnick Prene takes a giant leap forward with a modern masterpiece embracing the traditional gypsy jazz movement!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The sophomore slump, you hear about it and it has derailed the careers of some apparent rising stars before they really ever got started. Not here...
Yvonnick Prene & Padam Swing's Wonderful World is a lyrically enhanced post modern look at the famed Gypsy jazz movement and where similar releases are predictable while still hitting all their marks, Prene & Padam Swing create a new improvisational groove on some of the most influential music to come out of Europe in a generation.
Prene's first release quickly caught the ears of critics and set his musical stock on an upward trend that shows no signs of cresting to this day. Padam Swing is made up of some of New York's finest including violin virtuoso Scott Tixier along with Michael Valeanu on guitar and Lorin Cohen on bass. Prene is the consummate leader yet has the vision to embrace the collective concept necessary to push a release such as this to the next level, with the exception of the most recent Hot Club of Detroit effort this may arguably be the finest post modern Gypsy jazz release to date. There are intriguing and somewhat eclectic covers ranging from Sting's "Shape of My Heart" to the Sonny Rollins classic "Pent-Up House." Arrangements are exceptional with melodies stretched but never mangled while an effervescent spirit seems to flow freely from within each piece, truly magnificent. Equally impressive is the compositional prowess on display with the Prene originals "The Swimmer" and "La Valse d'Amy."
The torch has been passed in modern jazz harmonica and the chromatic wunderkind Yvonnick Prene has all the weapons needed in his harmonic arsenal to move straight to the head of the pack. While some of his contemporaries who are indeed fine players but seem to linger in one wheelhouse continue to thrive on a level of unchallenged mediocrity, Yvonnick Prene is the new shooter to keep a close eye on.
As close to perfect as one can achieve.