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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

Stephane Guillaume
Soul Role
O+Music - OP104


  1. Urban Trek
  2. Sur le Tarmac
  3. A Ceil Ouvert
  4. Maitre Nhom
  5. Les Sources de la Romanche
  6. Formica Leo
  7. Soul Role
  8. Piana
  9. Charivari
  10. Rascar Capac (Intro)

Stephane Guillaume - Saxophones, Clarinets, Flutes
Antoine Banville - Drums
Marc Buronfosse - Bass
Paul-Christian Staicu - Piano, Fender Rhodes
Claude Egea - Bugle, Trumpet
David Patrois - Vibes, Marimba
Frederic Favarel - Guitars
Daniel Yvenec - Artistic direction and Bass on Formica Leo
Recorded in June 2003

I feel certain that many fans of contemporary jazz are not best pleased with some of my reviews, but I try to write objectively about the musician’s performance in the context of jazz. Outside the field of jazz, I am not qualified to comment and a fair proportion of the cotemporary albums I hear have crossed that boundary. How good it feels therefore to hear a new album where the tunes are new to me, so are the musicians, but it is without doubt ’the real thing’! Stephane Guillame is a very talented reed player and a composer of great merit. His playing exhibits all the qualities of someone who has had a first class musical education and loves what he does.

I would like to quote from the sleeve note because I feel its appropriate.

"Soul Role" is a giant puzzle’ the pieces of which are the emotions he has experienced while playing live in concert all over the world. It is the starting point for his own music, which he wants to be carefully constructed, fully accomplished, imaginative and above all rich in emotion.

It is my belief that he has achieved all these things.

Another aspect of Stephane’s playing is that he has obviously listened to the great jazz musicians of the past, to give him a basis on which to seek his own way. He has an excellent tone on all reeds, but his sound on the tenor saxophone is exceptional. Having said that his performance on all his instruments is of the highest quality and he plays with soul and feeling throughout.

Apart from the drummer and bass player, the other musicians come and go on different tracks, I was also very impressed with the rhythm section and particularly pianist Paul-Christian Staicu. He has a fine jazz feel and knows when to play as well as when not to play. Trumpet player Claude Egea is only used on a few tracks, but he too is another excellent jazz musician, his solos are exciting and he has an excellent range.

If like me you like your jazz to progress, but without losing the qualities that define it, this record is for you. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it will stay around my turntable for a while!

Don Mather

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