It isn't hard to see how Mörglbl came up with the humorous title Jäzz for the Deaf for this album; combining jazz with hard rock, the French power trio (Christophe Godin on electric guitar, Ivan Rougny on electric bass, and Aurélien Ouzoulias on drums) doesn't hesitate to crank up the decibels. One can think of Mörglbl's approach as Scott Henderson & Tribal Tech by way of the instrumental hard rock shredders (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Randy Coven) with hints of Primus' eccentricity and angularity (although Mörglbl, unlike the vocal-oriented Primus, are strictly instrumentalists). Godin's guitar crunching can be quite metallic, which isn't to say that Jäzz for the Deaf is full-fledged heavy metal or alternative metal. There can be a fine line between metal and hard rock, of course; considering the way that Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, AC/DC, and so many others have been a part of both metal and hard rock, it isn't surprising that the terms heavy metal and hard rock have often been used interchangeably. But Jäzz for the Deaf's influences are really more hard rock than outright metal; nonetheless, there is no question that this 2009 release rocks aggressively hard, and Mörglbl combine that high-volume aggression with plenty of nuance and jazz complexity. No one would mistake this 61-minute CD for straight-ahead bop, but it would be a mistake to say that Mörglbl are strictly rock instrumentalists. Godin improvises in a way that shows an appreciation of both jazz guitarists and hard rock shredders, and Ouzoulias sounds like the sort of drummer who could happily listen to Alex Van Halen one minute and Tony Williams or Jack DeJohnette the next. Although fusion (as opposed to smooth jazz) isn't as plentiful in the 21st century as it was in the 1970s, quality fusion can still be found if one knows where to look for it -- and quality fusion can definitely be found on Jäzz for the Deaf.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson