Stephane Kerecki Trio: Houria

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COMPOSERS: Stephane Kerecki Trio
LABELS: Zig Zag Territories
PERFORMER: Stéphane Kerecki (bass), Matthieu Donarier (sax), Thomas Grimmonprez (drums), with Tony Malaby (percussion)


This disc drops you straight into a hazy trance of North-African influenced jazz, with its exhilarating opener ‘Macadam’ – one of those tracks that immediately stands out as a classic.

French double-bassist Stéphane Kerecki’s trio, who met while studying at the Paris Conservatoire, are now on their third album, and joined by US saxophonist Tony Malaby, a former sideman of Charlie Haden. It’s an extremely confident project, driven by its spirit of exotic musical adventure. 

Kerecki, who has worked with Algerian vocalist Djamel Allam, creates a constantly shifting yet rhythmically focused musical soundscape which is at times uplifting, or eerie and melancholic (‘Secret d’oreille’), darkly brooding (‘Palabre’), or serenely reflective (‘A L’air libre’).


He also pays homage to the sacred music of French composer Messiaen in ‘O Sacrum Convivium’. Appropriately entitled Houria, Arabic for ‘freedom’, this disc makes for a liberating listen. Neil McKim