Philippe Ehinger


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With a title like ELP, you are bound to draw comparisons to Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But the music of Ehinger, Lindemann & Pitteloud is so remote from the prog rock bombast of the "real" ELP that one wonders what will a title like that achieve, except lure a handful of unlucky, unsuspecting ELP fans. That said, the music of this Swiss trio is definitely worth investigation. The instrumentation is unheard of: François Lindemann mostly plays a Fender Rhodes (with all the effects pedals) and analog electronics. He ends up sounding like a cross between vintage Chick Corea and analog synth improviser Thomas Lehn. Philippe Ehinger, the melodic player or soloist of the trio, wields a mean bass clarinet. And Raphaël Pitteloud is not your run-of-the-mill drummer. He prefers to sit down at the tablas, occasionally hitting a floor tom or a cymbal. Mostly improvised (four pieces out of 11 were written down), the music draws from Miles Davis' fusion period, European avant-garde jazz, and free improvisation. One thinks of Louis Sclavis' intellectual jazz and of Volapük's quirky avant-jazz-rock. The two "Dances" take an abstract free improv form, while "ELP," "Gama," and the color series ("Red," "Blue," "Black," and "Yellow") feature light grooves. Rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic elements appear independently at the beginning of most tracks, bouncing off each other and gradually meeting and melting together, without the listener noticing before it's too late: the groove is set, chord changes and melody have come up with their own logic, and the listener has to rewind the track to find out how the hell it happened. Recommended.

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