Philippe Gelda


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The duo of Philippe Gelda and Thomas Fiancette go in plenty of directions on a compact disc release that is "finis" in a bit less than half an hour. Of the music played, only the tracks involving vocals require an audience with any sort of specific knowledge (i.e., an understanding of French). These are not the types of song performances that have much attraction without a thorough understanding of the lyrics -- something about the combination of Gelda's singing style and the quite prominent sound of the organ makes for a balloon of mockery that hopefully such an understanding would pop like a needle. That presumption, speculative and uncomfortable, has to be contrasted with a thoroughly pleasant reaction to the duo's instrumental creations. Fiancette has established himself in other recordings as one of those one-man multi-tracking geniuses, fielding an orchestra's worth of instruments. From them he selects flute, clarinet, and drums for this outing. He also gets a credit for "delay" -- it is assumed this is some kind of electronic processing and that the normally hard-working Fiancette didn't arrive tardy at the session. On the drums he holds back nothing, actually making a more favorable impression than he does on his multi-tracked affairs. Perhaps this is because energetic drumming combines really well with the sound of the organ. Many listeners would respond favorably to some of the music this pair makes in this combination, Gelda holding his own in comparison with many of the famous players of this instrument, far less guilty of playing some of the clich├ęs they might very well stoop to when they think nobody is paying attention. "La Fete" is the opener, actually bringing to mind the grooving sounds of Brian Auger & the Trinity, in itself enough for fans of jazz fusion to throw a party. That's not the only style explored by any means. The concluding "Green Dress" has sections played with great intensity but with minimal volume. The instrumental finesse extends also to the pieces that include singing, meaning it is not a total loss for the crowd that couldn't get past French 101.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
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