Erik Truffaz Quartet with Anna Aaron @Cully Jazz Festival

Erik Truffaz et Anna Aaron au Cully Jazz  ©Laurent Pasche

Erik Truffaz et Anna Aaron au Cully Jazz ©Laurent Pasche

Trumpeter Erik Truffaz has been a beacon of light in the Swiss and international jazz world since the early nineties and last autumn saw his 10th album release on Blue Note records. ‘El Tiempo de la Revolition’ links up nicely with tonight’s ‘Revolution Groove’ theme at Cully Jazz where the band finally return to play at this important festival after a gap of over 15 years – possibly a sign of how busy they’ve been in the interim.

It’s a delightfully mixed audience at the Chapiteau tonight, surley a testament of Truffaz’s dexterous ability to bridge the jazz gap from the traditional lyrical beauty of a Chet Baker to the nu-jazz experimentalist vibes reminiscent of Miles Davis. Hence, whether young or old, Truffaz’s elegant, atmospheric and resourceful style holds something magical for everyone.

Oiling the wheels of the machine are his heavyweight band members, each one bringing personality and colour to the cinematic flavour of the evening.

The wildly energetic and well-equipped Benoit Corboz on keyboards produced a wide variety of sounds ranging from piano, rhodes, church organ to wailing guitars and waterfalls. Along with Marc Erbetta on drums and voice box, they were the driving force behind the busy textures and soundscapes that contrasted from time to time with the more languid, introspective pieces. Marcello Giuliani on bass provided a rhythmically hip underpinning that helped to bring all elements and styles cohesively together. And as for Truffaz and his trumpet, whether bellicose or serene, his delivery was haunting, penetrating and deceptively understated throughout. Like liquid wax, he cleverly moved into places you would not expect and seductively melted you away.

Together, this quartet deliver a quietly confident, deeply poetic and engaging sound. They are not in any hurry, spaces in the music are allowed to breathe, less is quite often more, thereby allowing the atmosphere to build in a hypnotically meditative way, (typically evident in the track “African mist”).

The young and promising Swiss singer, Anna Aaron joined them on stage for two numbers, “Blue Movie” and “Blow Away”. Her soothing, agile, slightly pop-ish voice added a lighter touch, reminding us that Truffaz has often collaborated with unexpected genres of music to great effect.

“Mr K”, homage to their diligent manager, brought out their funkier side and whipped the audience into a joyful, energetic frenzy. It was hard for the band to leave the stage at the end of the gig, the audience had clearly not had enough of their favourite jazz export and wanted to bask a while longer in their irresistible ambiant beauty.

 

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