The Mask [Blue Note, 2000]
Walk of the Giant Turtle [Blue Note, 2003]
The Mask -
A killer batch of tracks from this young Swiss trumpeter -- with a sound
and style that recalls the best spacey jazz funk moments of the 70s! This
is an all-instrumental US Blue Note release that combines the instrumental
tracks from Truffaz's French Blue Note albums Bending New Corners and The
Dawn, plus a few that appear to be instrumental remixes of tunes that
originally contained a rapper. Truffaz is one of our favorite new talents
-- and he's got a sound that's a mix of Eddie Henderson and electric Miles
Davis, and the records feature some excellent Fender Rhodes work backing
Add to this list 'Rendez-vous', a 3CD collection (France only I believe) on Blue Note containing three sessions recorded in different places around the world.
'Paris' features vocalist / human beatbox Sly Johnson making music with his mouth and is pretty expendable pop music.
'Benares' is a full session and two live tracks by Malcolm Braff's Indian Project, featuring Braff on piano, Truffaz on horn and genuine Indian tabla players / singers for a true east-west fusion recording.
Last of all are three tracks from Truffaz with Mexican electronic composer Murcof (who has put out some classic albums on the Leaf Label). This is marvelous ambient Jazz. Murcof plays blissed-out, glitched-up classical samples and quiet beats while Truffaz places his horn over the top. For me, it's like a 2008 version of 'In A Silent Way'.
All three sessions are available separately. 'Benares' and 'Mexico' are must -haves.
_Walk of the Giant Turtle_ A really radical change for trumpeter Erik Truffaz -- and his most striking album to date! Part of the set features soundscape-oriented numbers that are slightly similar to his earlier work, but which also show a range of expression that lies somewhere between the atmospherics of Jon Hassel and the muted lines of Miles Davis. However, other tracks almost rock out with intense energy from the rest of the group -- heavy bass and drum work, supported by Fender Rhodes and acoustic piano in a hard-jamming style that turns things up many notches from earlier records.