The Rise

COMPOSERS: Julien Lourau
LABELS: Label Bleu
PERFORMER: Julien Lourau (saxes), with Malik Mezzadra (fl), Bojan Zulfikarpasic (p), Henri Texier (b), Maxime Zampieri (d), etc
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 6640

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Julien Lourau has emerged in recent years as an important voice on the Parisian jazz scene. This is his third album for the Label Bleu label, following Groove Gang and Voodoo Dance although he can also be heard on Henri Texier’s Mad Nomads and on Bojan Zulfikarpasic’s three instrumental albums for the label.

In fact his association with Zulfikarpasic dates back to 1993’s Quartet, while flute virtuoso Malik Mezzadra, now establishing a reputation of his own, was formerly a member of Lourau’s band that recorded Gambit during their world tour in 1999.

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These musical associations gel to make a cohesive, rounded statement from musicians reaching maturity of expression while developing individual and distinctive voices of their own. Lourau’s style was originally modelled on the American saxophone virtuoso Mike Brecker, with whom he shares a formidable technical command of his instrument, but he has also learnt the lessons of less is more, and on ‘The Saloon,’ ‘Kenyatta’ and ‘Bulkamer’ world influences have also crept into his playing to yield a performer who continues to show great promise with every album. Stuart Nicholson