Joue Andre Hodeir is the second recording by le Jazz Groupe de Paris, a piano-less nonet originally formed by André Hodeir, with the help of Bobby Jaspar, and dedicated to his music and arrangements -- Hodeir, who used to be a proficient violinist, only conducts. By the time this session was recorded Jaspar had already left for the United States and was replaced by Georges Grenu. In addition to six originals, the program is rounded out with tunes by Bud Powell, Duke Jordan, Thelonious Monk, and John Lewis. Hodeir's compositions are not as tuneful and memorable as the covers, but this is irrelevant since his musical concerns deal almost exclusively with textures and colors. In line with the leader's esthetics, the soloists do not indulge into virtuosic runs. Instead, Hodeir's draws from his musicians complex soundscapes rich in tonalities. Overall, Hodeir favors slow and midpaced tempos, which provide a better ground for his intricate voicings. His original ideas are more obviously displayed on "Paradoxe I," which features a pulsating cymbal in the foreground, or "On a Scale," whose theme is not restated at the end. Despite the knowledge his theories require to be fully grasped, Hodeir's music is utterly enjoyable and this album provides a fine introduction to his universe.
AllMusic Review by Alain Drouot