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recording of the week,Erik Truffaz - Clap!(presto)

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    Posted: 19 Nov 2023 at 10:04am

recording of the week,Erik Truffaz - Clap!

by Barney Whittaker 
ERIK TRUFFAZ - Clap! cover

It’s lights, camera, action on Clap!, the new instalment of Erik Truffaz’s project paying homage to the silver screen. Whereas the album’s predecessor from earlier this year, Rollin’, marked the Swiss-French trumpeter’s tentative first return to Blue Note since 2010, his latest appearance undeniably affirms him to be right where he belongs, back in the creative milieu he initially entered at the turn of the millennium. 

Whether he is amending snippets of score into fully-fledged musical ideas or representing pre-existing cues to further explore in more depth, this cinematic sequel has come at the right time for anybody craving a follow-up to the trumpeter’s already edifying efforts. “Beyond the memories of the films that are mentioned, Erik Truffaz’s interpretation opens the imagination to other films that have never been made.” So says the French film director Bruno Nuytten of our star’s ability as a performer-composer. His fleecy tones suit themselves tremendously to the impressionistic nature of the list of credits compiled here, with each film providing a glimpse into the trumpeter’s seemingly cool demeanour.  

As with its precursor, the selections on Clap! commemorates the movies whose soundtracks it emulates not through mere imitation, but via a solidly imaginative series of musical reinventions. Committing to his own self-assured artistry in light of the creative spirits he so wishes to exalt, these albums are more Truffaz, than Truffaut. There is romance here, but there is also menace, a dichotomy which the leader proves he is more than capable of serving to the fullest of his abilities. 


The soundtracks depicted belong to a list of French movies largely unseen outside of their local market but still resonate deeply in Truffaz’s own heart. Wartime-thrillers such as Army of Shadows rub elbows with nouvelle vague dramas in the form of Godard’s Contempt. This is the kind of incidental music our leader opts for reinterpreting the most – the iconic cinema of his youth that presumably served as instrumental to his aesthetic upbringing, the mood of which he can never return to absolutely but today can only attempt to recapture. Therein lies the beauty of both Rollin’ and Clap!; a magnetic pair of coups d'œil that not only attempt to portray the films referenced but also the musician’s (and by proxy, our) relationship to them.  

The brief celestial ditty from David Lynch’s Eraserhead, ‘In Heaven’, displays a star turn from singer-songwriter Bertrand Belin, who takes care to employ the same kind of oblique schmaltz one may come to expect from a typical performance at the Roadhouse from Twin Peaks. Elsewhere, on the Gainsbourg-penned ‘Requiem pour un con’, Truffaz sounds off like Miles on resurrection day, suggesting contemporary scenes of sullen reflective noir. The record's sonic potential increases in light of each movement, with Alexis Anerilles' omniscient keys and the crunchy electric guitar of Matthis Pascard serving as two reliable backstops that'll send shivers down your spine.

In all, Truffaz's project is a touchingly personal foray back into the limelight. With any returning great, there is the risk that a revived interest in their work may only spark self-serving passion projects. Luckily, however, the trumpeter doesn't fall for this easy trap but instead delivers a refreshing jolt of energy that supports the notion of an ever-continuing search for authentic soul and expression. With this two-parter, he is one step closer to finding it. 



Erik Truffaz

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Barney Whittaker

from www.prestomusic.com

Edited by snobb - 19 Nov 2023 at 10:05am
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