New Comer

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Ludovic Llorca's New Comer begins with a swell jam called "The Novel Sound," which is reminiscent of early-'90s acid jazz. The spoken-word bit on this tune works, as does the sudden ending. The next song, "Indigo Blues," with Nicole Graham on vocals, is among the album's best. Graham has the perfect soulful croon for this sort of number and the Latin jazz-style instrumentation is lively. And it's the same with "Lights Behind Windows" and "I Cry," both excellent, original tunes. Julien Lourau's fine tenor sax on "Lights Behind Windows" is a standout, while Mandel Turner's deep-voiced scatting and a super-catchy funk groove bring "I Cry" over the top. If this were only a four-song EP, it would be a knockout. But the last five songs wind down into a much lighter, dentist-office-type jazz sound which kills off the momentum of the first half. Llorca is certainly a talented DJ, but he needs to work on holding the listener's attention a bit longer.

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