Given “SHOCK” award (CHOC).
Written by Jean-François Mondot
Here is an album that stand out from the crowd. From the first listening, one is struck by the sheer unpredictability of the routes layed-out in each piece.
I am very happy to announce my latest release of my quartet “Panacea” on Whirlwind Recordings in March 2015 !
The third album of my quartet featured the wonderful singer from Hungary, Budapest, Gabor Winand as a guest on four tracks.
Here you can listen to sample tracks from the album.
Click here to pre-order the album already now directly from me and get free shipping!
We will be on tour to promote the album and will be passing through France, UK, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg between February-March 2015.
Feb 2015 :
12 – Bravo, Brussels, Belgium
13 – Jazzolder, Mechelen, Belgium
16 – Hopper, Antwerp, Belgium
17 – Liquid, Luxembourg
20 – Bflat, Berlin, Germany
21 – Club HANSEAT, Germany
March 2015 :
11 – Swing Unlimited Bournmouth, UK
12 – Sound Cellar Poole, UK
13 – Birmingham Jazz, UK
14 – Shrewsbury Jazz Network, UK
15 – SMJC Southampton, UK
17 – Dempseys, Cardiff, UK
18 – Lescar, Sheffield + Leeds College of Music Workshop, UK
20 – Bebop Club, Bristol, UK
22 – Schmazz/Splinter Newcastle, UK
8 – Parvis, Chartres, France
29 – Sunside, Paris, France
For the the best part of a decade, the quartet of British-born guitarist, Tam de Villiers, has been striving for musical authenticity, compositional originality and honest group interplay. Avoiding pastiche of the past and present, and deftly side-stepping the fleeting musical trends of the moment, the aim here is to explore a personal take on the human experience, defying genres and period. Resolutely idiosyncratic, the music of Tam de Villiers surprises, and astonishes the listener with a melting pot of influences seamlessly combined into an original voice. What starts out as a jazz piece, leads us into a contrapuntal baroque fantasie, then veers off into abrasive progressive rock, skimming past rockabilly twangs before plunging into a trance inducing minimalist motif. Yet despite the apparent eclecticism, there is a carefully crafted archetypal balance underpinning the form here that brings a sense of classical coherence to the notes, both written and improvised.
Continuing to develop musical relationships by working closely with this regular team of musicians, amongst the best of the French scene new generation (Karl Jannuska – drums, David Prez – tenor sax, Frederic Chiffoleau– double bass), de Villiers recorded the latest album,”Panacea”, in June this year. This new opus expands upon the quartet’s body of work following the critically acclaimed albums, “Alba Lux” 2008 and “Motion Unfolding” 2011. Described as “Amazing, acrobatic, mind-poetry” by the Jazz Thing magazine, song-writing was explored on this last album which featured the award winning singer David Linx. Now with “Panacea”, de Villiers pushes the poetic song writing aspect of his music even further, and this time invited Hungarian singer, Gabor Winand, whose virtuosic baritone voice and remarkable approach to scat improvisation bring an exceptional lyricism to four tracks of the album.
The aim of this album was to build upon the long-standing musical relationship of de Villiers’ quartet, and use this as a vehicle to exploit a new challenging repertoire of compositions he wrote over the course of the last two years. This repertoire explores many approaches to form and improvisation not regularly utilized in a jazz quartet context. Many compositions are through-composed, exploring motifs and melodic material in different ways and using them as a rhythmic and harmonic basis for improvisation. In order to develop melodic material, twelve-tone 20th century classical composition devices were used, notably in the suite “Totem Tona – Tona Totem”, and “Wolf” where trichords, are used and inverted to form the themes and harmony. This focus on composition and structure, juxtaposed with the sounds of electric guitar and many different uses of effects on each instrument, with a fluid, organic execution enabled by a the group cohesion of a regularly working group, creates a unique combination of modern music styles and sounds mixed with subtle melodic and rhythmic complexity that characterizes the quartet.
In parallel to this, and in some ways as counter-balance, inviting the flexibility of Winand’s vocal technique into the mix brings a universal coherence to the auditor. de Villiers wanted to continue his exploration of poetic song-writing (first started on the last album “Motion Unfolding”), using the consonants and syllables of the text as a rhythmic frame work for the articulation and sound of the themes. The texts examine symbolic archetypes found in European esoterica, alchemy and Jungian writings. Indeed the literal concepts explored also lay the foundation of the song forms, using numerological figures as a basis for tempo, form and meter, notably in “Panacea” and “As Above, So Below”. In other songs, “Morse Code Fantasie” and “Freedom” (Winand’s own composition), the voice is instead used as an instrument in its own right, using scat syllables for articulation.
The end result is a collection of varying pieces, instrument and vocal, that takes the listener on a voyage, both cerebral and visceral. Where the natural feel and organic execution of the material, draws the listener in and allows appreciation of the bands exuberant interactions without its compositional depth and complexity burying their musicality.