|PIERRE BERTRAND||RETOUR ALBUMS|
THE BIG LIVE
About a year ago I came to France to do some work for Selmer Paris Saxophones. Part of my activities was to play two concerts with the PJBB. I do a fair amount of this kind of thing, guesting with big bands other than my own New York band, and I expected the band would be quite good, being that the members were all from the Paris area. After the first rehearsal and the subsequent concert I discovered that the band was not only very good, but also extraordinary!
The PJBB has an array of strong soloists, ensemble players, and composer/arrangers that puts it on a par with any of the current big bands on the jazz scene today. The arrangements (primarily by Pierre Bertrand and Nicolas Folmer) are innovative,
unusual, and span a wide palate of styles and flavors, depending on what the focus of the particular project calls for. The broad array of colors, textures and grooves that this band conjures up in the music is truly inspirational, suggesting that the jazz big band as a vehicle for improvisation and composition has many more roads to travel.
The music here draws upon influences in it’s own unique way. Swing, burn-out, funk-out, lyricism, abstraction, and wonderful interplay all contribute to the distinctive sound of the PJBB. They have a sound all their own thanks to the clever writing and playing exhibited in the band. The rhythm section swings hard, and all the soloists have something profound to say. In many ways, PJBB has a small band sensibility augmented by large ensemble orchestration. The best of all worlds!
As you can probably tell, I’m quite fond of this band. My enthusiasm comes from being an eternal fan of the music we call jazz, and from the fact that my interest in the big band instrumentation is renewed and supported by checking out another serious point of view on the subject. PJBB is well on their way to making a substantial musical statement in jazz. I wish them well on their journey, and look forward to hearing the results.
BOB MINTZER - december 2008
THIS HIGHLY INVENTIVE AND UNUSUAL ADAPTATION OF A SONG I ORIGINALLY WROTE TO SHOW MY ADMIRATION FOR BADEN POWELL HAS NOW GARNERED NEW ATTENTION IN THE CAPABLE HANDS OF PIERRE BERTRAND. AS HE WEAVES IN AND OUT OF THE HARMONIC STRUCTURE, THE FLOW OF INSTRUMENTAL COLORS WILL SURELY DELIGHT.
PRA BADEN MEANS FOR BADEN IN PORTUGUESE AND IS A TRIBUTE TO A GIFTED BRAZILIAN GUITARIST I HAVE ENJOYED LISTENING TO FOR YEARS. I WAS PART OF THE EMERGENCE OF BOSSA NOVA OUT OF BRAZIL IN THE EARLY 60’S SO IT’S GRATIFYING TO SEE IT HAS SPREAD SO FAR AROUND THE WORLD. PIERRE’S MASTERY OF ALL THE ELEMENTS OF THIS STYLE AND THIS PIECE MAKE FOR AN AURAL EXPERIENCE THAT IS SUPERB IN EVERY WAY.
CLARE FISCHER - « PRA BADEN »