Heading this quintet from the Grand Est are the trumpeter Patrice Lerech, former member of the Orchestre national de l’Île-de-France under the direction of Michel Legrand, and the saxophonist Damien Prud’homme, member of the messina scene. They are complemented by a trio of francophone jazz veterans whose members have crossed paths regularly for many years: pianist Mathieu Roffé, bassist Laurent Payfert, and drummer Franck Agulhon.
On the tracklist of the CD Canal de l’Est are 10 original pieces, tailored to this ensemble, freely inspired by the greatest names in the Blue Note catalogue from the 60s, which evoke in turn Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard and Horace Silver. There is no lack of taste, – neither in the choruses nor in the themes –, from quiet Latin groove (À Creuser) to shuffle (Why Not Blues?). But it’s the dashing hard-bop (Fleuve, No Answer) that best illustrates the correctness, in every sense of the word, and the sound of the quintet. This is not only pleasurable listening but also a stylish tribute to the sound of an era that has lost none of its charm.
Jazz Magazine n° 728 – June 2020