Henri Texier

COMPOSERS: Henri Texier
LABELS: Label Bleu
WORKS: Mad Nomad(s)
PERFORMER: Texier (b, oud, perc, v), Sebastian Texier (as, clt), Julien Lourau (ss, as, ts), François Corneloup (as, bar-s), Noel Akchote (g), Bojan Zulfikarpasic (p, syn), Jacques Mahieux (d, perc), Tony Rabeson (d, perc)
As the climax to the 1998 London Jazz Festival – a day’s music dedicated to French bands – proved, France has one of the most vibrantly eclectic jazz scenes in the world and Henri Texier is at its hub. A first-call bassist for US visitors, and a frequent collaborator with well-established French stars (Louis Sclavis, Didier Lockwood),


he also – as on this deeply personal album – leads bands drawing on youthful talent. Mad Nomad(s) intersperses short percussion meditations on world problems – ecological, political, social – with lengthier pieces involving either the full ‘Sonjal’ (Breton for muse/imagine) Septet or smaller offshoots of it, most frequently a sparky trio comprising pianist Bojan Zulfikarpasic and drummer Tony Rabeson alongside the leader. Texier, like this recording’s dedicatees, is a restless traveller, and his music is appropriately wide-ranging, embracing everything from collective free-jazz scrabbling, through stridently anthemic septet pieces featuring elegant close harmony horn themes, to relatively straight ahead jazz, celebrating past collaborations with the likes of US masters Dexter Gordon and Art Taylor. A thoroughly absorbing, richly varied album from a genuine original. Chris Parker