Following several recordings with musicians from Mali and Indonesia, Alliance takes André Jaume to the Seychelles Islands, which are not the most obvious destination. Such meetings always create challenges, the most troublesome being to find material suitable to all the musicians -- and this set is not always successful at overcoming differences. While Sonny Rollins' "Everywhere Calypso" happens to be an unmistakable pick, other choices appear dubious. Sonny Stitt's "Blues Walk" sounds like a strange hybrid, and Charlie Haden's "Our Spanish Love Song" betrays a lack of conviction. Despite these reservations, Jaume's musicianship and arranging skills help take the project off the ground. His tenor sax wails freely and surfs the upper register with a lot of effusion on "Slippery When Wet." The Chick Corea tune, arranged in a jazz-funk style reminiscent of Ornette Coleman & Prime Time, is so effective that one is left wondering what this recording might have become if only Jaume had decided to explore that vein further. Other highlights include Jaume's lovely "Pour Django" as well as a terrific and surprising version of J.J. Johnson's "Fox Hunt," where the saxophonist's emotional and edgy delivery is balanced by Alain Soler's serene and assured guitar work. If this enjoyable and entertaining session marks a new chapter in Jaume's collaboration with Soler, it is not representative of the French reedist's work; those interested in investigating André Jaume's music should definitely start somewhere else.
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