As the Moutin Reunion Quartet have evolved over five years, their modern mainstream jazz sound has indeed discovered tighter, sharper edges based on their ability to elongate time signatures, dig deep into their expertise as improvisers, and discover a neo-bop signature sound that is as irresistible as any in contemporary music. Tenor saxophonist Rick Margitza has settled into his role as a post-Michael Brecker melodicist, while pianist Pierre DeBethmann is ever formidable and a perfect foil for bassist Francois Moutin, especially with his left hand working in tandem with the contrabassists pluckings, bowings, and walking. While Francois aside from this band is quickly becoming a first-call sideman, his twin brother Louis is developing distinct individualism, displaying one of the more unique approaches and styles in the post-bop/Max Roach school of ferocious drumming. You have to witness Louis live to appreciate his uniqueness, but from an audio perspective alone, his talent borders on astonishing, and he also assumes a fierce leadership role as a composer. There's some outstanding, nearly breathtaking music here - the hip, heavy and enigmatic "Two Hits on the N.J.T.P." which deserves a close listen, the heady, purely modern neo-bop title track loaded with drum flourishes, and the tension and release of "A Good Move," which is a trademark device of the band. A brittle and staggered kinetic funk informs "Kuki's Dance," there's the nimble indirect swing waltz "A Blue Dream," and a tribute, "'Trane's Medley," with just bass and drums. Margitza also evokes John Coltrane during the delicate, pensive, artistic ballad "Time Apart." It seems that as good as this group is in the studio, they are much more powerful heard live, as evidenced by the accompanying DVD available in this package, featuring superior material from their previous CD Something Like Now. Well on their way to being one of the top working bands in contemporary jazz, the Moutin's have it all goin' on. Please thoroughly check these cats out if you haven't already.
All Music Guide