Raymond Boni

Le Goût du Jour

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Le Goût du Jour, which can be loosely translated as "flavor of the month," is arguably the most accessible and atypical project led by Raymond Boni. Nevertheless, it should not be perceived as an effort to go mainstream even though he explores various popular music styles: funk, fusion, swing, waltz, etc. The session finds him flanked by longtime associate André Jaume and some newcomers not always attuned to Boni's free improvisation concepts. This situation forces him to compromise, and the result is an uneven collection of the most structured compositions the guitarist ever penned. The ballad "Gâteau de Mes Rêveries" features fine contributions by the guitarist and trombonist Jacques Veillé, but is marred by a far too syrupy rhythm section. Likewise, "Moncho" is steeped in the tacky French fusion sound of the '80s. On the other hand, Boni is occasionally able to maintain a certain tension and to bring the music to the verge of chaos, as on "Zé," which also includes a guest appearance by Geneviève Sorin on accordion. Each piece showcases a different member of his octet, and pianist Pascal Lloret comes out strong on the free-form "Le Repos du Danseur," on which he builds a climax over the horn section playing in unison. Despite its flaws, this set is a rare occasion to hear Raymond Boni leading a large-scale ensemble and displaying a more flamboyant style than usual.