Laurent Dehors (reed instruments, Jew’s Harp, vocals), Michel Massot (trombone, tuba, vocals), Michel Debrulle (drums, percussion, vocals).
Tuba and trombone player Michel Massot and drummer/percussionist Michel Debrulle have another brainchild in addition to the Rêve d’éléphant Orchestra: Trio Grande. The trio had a previous life as Trio Bravo, with Fabrizio Cassol (Aka Moon) on sax, in the late 1980s. But after some time, Cassol was replaced by the French multi-instrumentalist Laurent Dehors, and the group’s name changed to Trio Grande. After two CDs together with British pianist Matthew Bourne, they’re finally adding another album to their basic line-up. The album’s title, Trois mousquetaires, immediately makes this clear. And just like that quartet from Alexandre Dumas’ novel, these gentlemen have been getting themselves into some exciting adventures. They’re tapping a multitude of musical kegs, as we’ve come to expect them to do, including African rhythms, European folk melodies, medieval dances… it all gets thrown into the mix. When you add in some powerful improvisation and an enchanting dose of humour, this can lead to some hilarious results, but the music is often subtler in its witticisms. ‘Quand on se promène’, for example, would work wonderfully in a Jacques Tati movie, and in ‘Les tambours de Binche’, Dehors will immediately magick an indelible smile on your face using his Jew’s harp. However, it isn’t always playing tricks and clowning around with Trio Grande. They’ve got serious depth to them as well, such as the poignantly beautiful alto sax solo in ‘Kazoo’, or the soulful, almost Ayler-esque melody in ‘Bamako’.
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