Nastos The virtuoso five-string bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons is widely regarded, not specifically as a contemporary jazz performer, but as a man of the world who proudly wears his ethnic and classical influences on his sleeve. Arcoluz translated as "bow of light" is a triumphant world music endeavor, using Middle Eastern sounds melded with ECM-like Eurocentric soundscapes to make new music that is at once familiar, attractively exotic, and enthralling. Expert sound engineer Walter Quintus adds to the perfection of this music, and is ostensibly a fourth bandmember. These tracks flow like dark and shimmering waters moving through lengthy tributaries that branch off in rich prismatic directions, with the journey greater than the actual final colorful destination. Another identifying quality is that of intuitive improvised common sense, honed by acute listening skills and guided by a universal center that knows no prejudice, boundaries, or emotional confinement.
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Sign in to view read count Renaud Garcia-Fons brings a rare passion and understanding to the bass. His approach is pure genius, seen in the way he styles his pizzicato and in the manner he opens the arco to encompass melodic and improvisatory richness.
Garcia-Fons began playing the bass when he was 16, gravitating to the instrument from the guitar and piano. At first he approached it without a real idea of its functions and possibilities.
That changed when he heard Francois Rabbath and his music. Rabbath had conceived a central role for the bass which led Garcia-Fons to look at the instrument in a new light. What he saw were immense possibilities. He added a fifth string at the high end of the bass. This brought him closer to the music he wanted to play. The trio sets the tone with the short but tantalizing title track, before moving into the flamenco domain of "Berimbass.
Trasante is up front with Ruiz but lays back when the bass is in motion. His points of reference are intuitive. Once again, the melody is catchy and, as Garcia-Fons sets it on a journey of manifestation; he makes the high end string the mainspring of his adventure. And then in a neat switch he moves into an Indian classical music beat which is not surprising given that he has studied the veena, an instrument used in Carnatic music.
From then on the pulse changes, Ruiz reinvents the melody and the conversation between the trio is marked by heady interlocutions and warm ensemble passages. As for Trasante, his percussion and his drums are loquacious and add to the flow without being intrusive. The trio has developed an innate understanding over the time they have been together. As told in the interviews on the DVD, it was a process that grew over three years. What at first was a musical collaboration, turned into friendship.
The rapport is seen in their ease of communication and in the way they raise the music to a new high. The making of the DVD, with interviews of all three musicians runs 85 minutes. While recorded in stereo, if you have rear speakers the experience of listening to the trio becomes all the richer. Note: Track listing is identical for the DVD as well. Album information.
Renaud Garcia-Fons Trio: Arcoluz