COMPOSERS: Henri Texier,Strada Sextet
LABELS: Label Bleu
PERFORMER: Henri Texier, Strada Sextet
CATALOGUE NO: LBLC 6668
There’s a certain waggishness to much of the French bassman’s output and it’s here, too, but he never quite tips things over into whimsy. The 11 composition credits are, as ever, divided between the leader and his sidemen, yet there’s a sense of collective mischief-making that makes them all hang together as a nice, if perhaps slightly over-long, sequence of tunes.
Pretty much everything gets at least a perfunctory nod along the way, from cod-Indian exotica to slash-and-burn free blowing, but all done with a slickness that may just be a bit too clever-clever for some tastes. On the plus side, though, the two-reeds-plus-trombone front line produces a gloriously in-your-face sound which is perfectly suited to what is, for the most part, very melodic and assertively rhythmic material.
The final track revisits Texier’s affection for lazy marches, as heard on his Colonel Skopje album many years ago. Roger Thomas