Matthieu Bordenave Quartet: The Blue Land

Rating: ★★★★

Record and Artist Details


Patrice Moret (b)
James Maddren
Florian Weber
Matthieu Bordenave (ts)




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Rec. 2022

For the follow up to his ECM trio debut La traverse, the 40-year-old French saxist Matthieu Bordenave adds a fourth voice, that of the classily sensitive British drummer James Maddren. The unconventional role play means the ensemble’s airy textural canvas on the debut is maintained but there’s a more urgent, animated, less ruminative feel about this album compared to that one. It opens with the always impressive German pianist Florian Weber’s conversational left-right hand improvs with his inventive balance between tension and release. Bordenave’s warmly wispy Shorter-like sax patiently traces a lyrical narrative for the most part and bassist Moret and Maddren step in with perceptively timed punctuations.

A delicate tightrope is trodden between tonal and abstract during the ominous title track, while Weber shifts from Jarrett-like piano on Coltrane’s ‘Compassion’ to a gently meditative hum on a Bordenave original ‘Cyrus’. It makes for an intriguing, collectively expressive set of chamber ensemble pieces.

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