Recorded live, the version of the Eric Watson Trio on Live au Petit Faucheux includes John Lindberg on bass and the lesser-known Bill Elgart on drums. They perform six Watson originals as well as a piece by Lindberg, "Flam-a-Dam," that would later resurface on Quartet Afterstorm and is along with "The Fling" and "The Fool School" among the album's most memorable compositions. The music offers few surprises, though. It is rather introspective and typically representative of Watson's fondness for dark and moody material -- only "Gather 'Round the Shakedown Scam" showcases some impetuous and energetic playing. Lindberg is impeccable, always full of resources and original ideas. He achieves resounding effects from the vibration of his strings, and his pizzicato technique allows him to produce impressive high-pitched notes. Elgart adequately fits in, playing the same role as Ed Thigpen in later Watson groups. He is very tasteful and proves to be a fine colorist paying great attention to details. Watson's performance is technically rewarding but tends to run short of ideas. Despite the fine playing, the music fails too often to soar and to entirely convince. The rather flat recording does not help either. Fans of Watson or Lindberg will probably want to add this album to their collection, but others should start elsewhere.
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AllMusic Review by Alain Drouot