Dubbed as a "soundtrack for a detective movie that does not exist," Cinoche is comprised of themes inspired by crime books written by G. J. Arnaud, whose work is unfortunately not available in English. It features André Jaume in two trio settings: the first with veterans of the French jazz scene Daniel Humair and François Méchali; the second with newcomers Rémi Charmasson and Claude Tchamitchian. A few unaccompanied solos by Jaume, Charmasson, and Tchamitchian are also sprinkled in the mix. Because the program is comprised of two sessions recorded with different musicians at a four-year interval, the consistency of the project needs to be commended. Jaume performs on a wide array of instruments (tenor and alto sax, flute, clarinet, and bass clarinet). If it is a nice opportunity to catch his thoughtful and breathy flute playing (especially on the gentle "A Sciuma"), it is on tenor that he gives his best and suggests the moods that are the most conducive to a film noir atmosphere -- and while his playing is fairly straight-ahead, it remains unpredictable. The trio, powered by Humair's drums, seems more appropriate to evoke action scenes, but it also excels in slower tempos and delivers two beautiful ballads ("Cluny" and "Ballade à Perdre le Temps"). As for the other trio, its chamber-like configuration adds a touch of mystery. Cinoche is arguably a highlight in Jaume's output.
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AllMusic Review by Alain Drouot