Music of Debussy

The Music of Debussy

by Jacques Loussier Trio
     
 
Jacques Loussier has already put a jazz spin on pieces by Bach, Vivaldi, Satie, and Ravel. Now the classically trained jazz pianist turns his attention to the Impressionist masterpieces of Claude Debussy. The challenge here is even greater than with Ravel, whose intricate style can be jazzed up quite

Overview

Jacques Loussier has already put a jazz spin on pieces by Bach, Vivaldi, Satie, and Ravel. Now the classically trained jazz pianist turns his attention to the Impressionist masterpieces of Claude Debussy. The challenge here is even greater than with Ravel, whose intricate style can be jazzed up quite easily; the rhythmic regularity of Satie's pared-down pieces can also be made to swing without too much effort. Despite its improvisatory qualities, the melodic unpredictability and pregnant pauses of Debussy's music seem inherently unsuited to such treatment. But Loussier shows it can be done, and the result is a tribute to his musical sensitivity. The famous "Clair de lune" glows just as romantically with some sultry syncopations thrown in, but its in the rhapsodic fantasy of the Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, the mystical stillness of "La Cathédrale engloutie," and the elusive Syrinx (originally a flute solo) that Loussier is most impressive. The pianist consistently respects the music's varied textures -- whether austere or sumptuous -- while finding imaginative ways to overlay his own ideas. Bassist Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac and drummer André Arpino are perfectly in tune with Loussier's approach, adding their own atmospheric filigree to the mix.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
When Jacques Loussier gave the music of Johann Sebastian Bach the jazz treatment (as others, notably the Modern Jazz Quartet, had before him), it worked really well. The tumbling flow of Bach's contrapuntal lines, the square rhythms that just beg to be played with a swing feel -- everything about Bach that makes his music the farthest thing from jazz seems to make jazz adaptations inevitable. The French composer Claude Debussy is a less obvious choice, and on this album you see why. Debussy was a much more impressionistic composer, and his music doesn't have either the rhythmic vitality or the sense of driving tonal logic that fuels the music of Bach. That makes it harder to fit his compositions into a jazz context. That Loussier succeeds as much as he does is a compliment to his sensitivity as a pianist and to his trio's ability to work with him intuitively. Loussier's renditions of "Prelude a l'Apres-Midi d'un Faune" and "Reverie" sound a lot like Bill Evans at his most ethereal; things pick up a bit on "L'Isle Joyeuse," but even that relatively energetic track is pretty well lacking in swing. The final result is music that doesn't sound much like jazz, but is quite enjoyable anyway.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/2000
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408351129
catalogNumber:
83511
Rank:
18607

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >