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Lorenzini, Ballester, Ponthieux: Question De Temps (CD, 48:39); Musea Parallele MP 3033.AR This is one of those recordings that grows on you. Like a favorite easy chair or pair of shoes -- I have found myself putting this disc back on for listen after listen. It is one of the few in my collection that regularly gets set on REPEAT. It is quality, expressive and adventurous jazz. Standard hip grooves on guitar by Lorenzini, wonderfully fluid and warm piano by Ballester, and ultra-tight, heartbeat-smooth bass by Ponthieux make for great listening. Pieces are upbeat but relaxed, always holding interest yet letting you drift off in enjoyment spaces. For a curious effect it seems Lorenzini uses a piece of paper(?) to enable "prepared guitar" and attains a percussive buzz for the intro to "Salsa De Bahia". It catches you off guard at first and you think a speaker has died or the CD track is bad but soon you learn to dig it. "Orient- Express" wins the most beautifully pastoral jazz moment award. Simply majestic. Both Ponthieux and Lorenzini get a lot of room to stretch nicely on strings. Avant garde territory is accessed in the introspective, free-form "Sornettes". After a period of enigmatic abandon you are thrilled with Ballester soloing on keys which brings everyone back into a great finale, echoing previous songs' tight grooves. On "Décadanse" things are again au moderne with Ballester doing some speakover-scat- narration in breathy, female-voiced, French during the piece. Lorenzini gets a a tad wild on guitar but tastefully so. Many more goodies are hidden in here for any jazz lover. Think acoustic Chick Corea or Keith Jarrett with that jazz standards guitar and bass. Recommended, a strong jazz offering. ~ John W. Patterson
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