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Walk Of The Giant Turtle (2003)

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Erik Truffaz

French trumpeter Erik Truffaz has been a mover and shaker on the European creative improvisational scene since the mid-'90s. With the release of The Mask (a compilation of three previously released recordings: Out of a Dream, The Dawn, and Bending New Corners), Revisité (a DJ dance remix of The Mask), and 2002's forward-sounding Mantis, Truffaz became one of the most popular electronic jazz trumpeters to hit North America since Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer charged forth with Khmer and Solid Ether. With the release of The Walk of the Giant Turtle, Truffaz and his quartet continue to make their mark as an improvisationally rich, high-energy groove experience. The two-part dance track "Scody" features the trumpeter coolly blowing around fluid trance grooves that flow as a mellow confluence of drum'n'bass rhythms and muted electric trumpet. The rock-fueled backgrounds of Truffaz and bassist Marcello Giuliani provide the impetus for "King B," "Next Door," and "Seven Skies," while such lyrical beauties as "Wilfried" and the captivating title tune provide contrasting musical entertainment that respects your intelligence and appeals to your curiosity even though this set is not that cerebral. With traditional styles set aside, this ten-track collection is rife with serious chops, electric jazz infused with modern dance rhythms, ambient pop, and gripping rock/jazz fusion performances that you are sure to enjoy. So kick back or get out on the dance floor -- it's your pick. ~ Paula Edelstein