Moutin Reunion Quartet

Soul Dancers

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Over a few short years and a handful of albums, the Moutin Reunion Quartet have established themselves as one of the best working bands in jazz history. Their repertoire is dotted with memorable compositions played powerfully, while their virtuosity is present as ever on this project. Furthering the compositional skill of the extraordinary bassist François Moutin, six of these nine pieces are stamped with his playful, inventive, and deft melodic identity. Brother Louis Moutin, with his hunchback drumming style and limitless chops, is a spectacular rhythm machine, and should be heralded as the second coming of Elvin Jones. Tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza's mid-register, tart, sweet sound has really settled in with this ensemble, tossing aside any post-Michael Brecker comparisons, but staying in the neo-bop realm for ear grabbers like "Sold Answers" and the hard-charging mighty funk of "Momentum." Two of these tracks will probably be familiar to fans, as the hip, modal "Mr. N.R." is similar to the selection from the Moutin's album Something Like Now titled "Take It Easy," while the hard bopper "Clinton Parkview" is reprised via the bassist's contribution alongside saxophonist Ernie Watts and his 2007 CD Analog Man. Keyboardist Pierre DeBethmann -- after some some solo projects -- keeps widening his groove and depth of color field, adding subtle synthesizer or bluesy organ sounds on top of his clever acoustic piano and pungent Fender Rhodes. It seems this group just gets better and better, but in fact they're refining their approach, while continuing to make more exciting, original modern jazz music that is stunning and arresting on many visceral levels.

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