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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Quatre Fois Trois




  1. Casseroles/More Tuna

  2. Helligoli

  3. Les Oignons

  4. For Flying Out Proud

  5. Meditations De Thais

  6. Huchedu Part 1

  7. From Time To Time Free

  8. Bas De Lou

  9. Huchedu Parts 2 and 3

  10. La Galinette

  11. Kel Essouf

Daniel Humair - Drums

Hal Crook - Trombone (tracks 4, 10)

Michel Portal - Bass Clarinet (tracks 2, 5)

Dave Liebman - Saxophone (tracks 1, 7)

George Garzone - Tenor sax (tracks 4, 10)

Marc Ducret - Guitar (track 3, 6, 9, 11)

Joachim Kühn - Piano (tracks 2, 5)

Jean-François Jenny-Clark - Bass (tracks 1, 7, 8)

Bruno Chevillon - Bass (tracks 3, 6, 9, 11)

Swiss-born drummer Daniel Humair has been a significant presence on the European jazz scene for many years. His first instrument was the clarinet and he played dixieland whilst in his teens. He quickly moved on to the drums and to modern jazz, however, and by the age of 20 he was touring Europe. His influences included Kenny Clarke, Sid Catlett, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams. He is now in his mid 70s. This particular CD was recorded back in 1996/97 over the space of a year and features four trios, hence the album's title Quatre Fois Trois. There are three American musicians employed here as well as four Frenchmen and one German.

Of the eleven tracks, eight were either composed solely by Humair or in collaboration with others. The ones that spoke most to me were the rousing For Flying Out Proud, Huchedu Part 1, which has some fine playing from guitarist Marc Ducret, and Bas De Lou, where there is a moody Dave Liebman to savour. I was also impressed by La Galinette, with Hal Crook's fluent trombone and George Gazone's tenor sax helping to deliver a driving foot-tapper. Meditations De Thais belied it's title – anything less meditative would be hard to find, with the exception of one short passage. Nevertheless, for me this was a familiar tune expertly played by all concerned. Les Oignons (a Sidney Bechet melody) grew on me as it unfolded but I was resistant to the charms of Helligoli which struck me as seriously weird at times. In addition, free jazz aficionados may well warm more than I did to From Time To Time Free despite Jenny-Clark's inventive bass playing.

Still, the album is definitely worth a listen, containing as it does some quality musicianship. The accomplished and versatile Humair goes a long way towards proving, too, that drum-led needn't mean drum-dominated.

James Poore

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