Jazz CD Reviews
Olivier Manchon and Orchestre de Chambre Miniature, Vol. 1 – ObliqSound
Published on March 2, 2010
Olivier Manchon and Orchestre de Chambre Miniature, Vol. 1 – ObliqSound 82388995 1429, 40.4 [www.obliqsound.com] [2/9/10] *****:
This unprepossessing little advance CD in a sleeve without any information on it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable crossover efforts I’ve enjoyed in some time now. French violinist Manchon is half of the French pop group Clare and the Reasons. This CD is another side of him – a sort of third-stream hybrid of classical and jazz. His ensemble includes viola, cello, doublebass, clarinet, tenor sax, bass clarinet, piano and harmonica. There are a number of worthwhile efforts coming out lately which raise the bar considerably over the often-corny crossover efforts of some of the major classical labels. At the same time I think most of them surpass most of the compositions that came out of the Third Stream effort of about 50 years ago. As trumpeter Dave Douglas observed recently: “This whole jazz/not jazz thing is a 20th century problem. In the younger generation…it’s not even part of the equation.”
This is not all a solo instrument with strings or chamber orchestra, such as Stan Getz’s superb “Focus,” (although it has some similarities), but a collection of interesting improvisations with lush and creative ensemble playing. Another reviewer called it “Esquivel without the kitsch.” One might hear movie soundtracks, cafe music, the minimalists, Ravel, even cool jazz. The track “Just a Second” features bass clarinet over a repeated piano chord that really works. The only selection not created by Manchon and his musicians is the closing “Valse Triste” of Sibelius, which receives one of its most affecting interpretations on disc. Just gorgeous. Looking forward to the next volume!
TrackList: Breakfast Queen, Memoires, Just a Second, Come Back, Feline Leukemia, Thirds, The Hanged Man, SIBELIUS: Valse Triste.
– John Sunier