A stunning effort that will forever change the way you feel about big band and the harmonic possibilities.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Initiative H is a large ensemble French collective with the amazing ability to move in opposite directions while never venturing off the lyrical straight and narrow. An evocative roller coaster of cerebral joy and visceral overload while never pushing the listener off the edge of the mythical melodic cliff. Bandleader and composer has rectified a sound that creates a spatial wonderment of imagination with carefully nuanced texture. Take everything that you know and love about western big band or jazz orchestra and become a blank slate, this is the new sound for large ensemble improvisational music.
To use the "diverse" would be somewhat trite in this particular context as Initiative H moves past a myriad of genres yet never loses the improvisational fire power that makes a big band a lasting force across the globe. These are stories from the west yet embrace jazz, rock, ambient and even meaningful streams of chamber jazz. Gil Evans meets Arvo Part on their way to a King Crimson gig. "Murder Drome" is jazz orchestra on steroids, full metal swing. "E.T." embraces a more open ended spatial quality with a free jazz groove lurking just below the surface. The more evocative "Way of The Sun" is an exquisite piece in search of a fine feature film.
An incredibly ambitious release that could easily morphed into a sonic train wreck instead carries along a divergent sound in its melodic wake, a renaissance for large ensemble possibilities has just arrived. A stellar offering worthy of global attention.
Tracks: Deus Ex Machina; Infraction; Desillusion; Eastside; E.T; M.I.T; Murder Drome; In Benzin Veritas; The Way of The Sun; Manhattan Out.
Personnel: David Haudrechy: Saxophones, Direction; Ferdinand Doumerc: Saxophones, Flute; Gael Pautric: Saxophones, Bass Clarinet; Nicolas Gardel: Trumpet; Nicholas Algans: Trumpet; Olivier "Lapin" Sabatier: Trombone; Lionel Segui: Bass Trombone; Florent Hortal: Guitar; Amaury Faye: Keys, Piano; Julien Duthu: Bass, Double Bass; Pierre Pollet: Drums; Florent "Pepino" Tissevre: Percussion.