Frederic Borey: Butterflies Trio

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This double CD set showcases the talents of three fine musicians. The first disc comprises compositions exclusively by Borey, with the exception of one from drummer Stephane Adsuar. The second disc finds the trio working through material from the likes of Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter, Billy Strayhorn and Fats Waller. If the second set reveals a slightly more playful side of the trio, the overall impression of both CDs is that this is a technically accomplished trio of musicians who work perfectly together.

Borey weaves and threads various ideas through his compositions with skill and artfulness. The trio setting of tenor sax, bass and drums lends an occasionally stark dimension to things; Borey doesn’t really have anyone to bounce harmonies around with, so although the result is technically impressive, it often makes for quite stark listening, with little to connect with more emotionally. This is especially the case on the disc of Borey compositions that runs at almost an hour.

What does stand out is the drive and inventiveness of Varaillon and Adsuar, who both work tirelessly to inject new directions and rhythmic interest in the compositions. Often, it is the interplay and development of ideas on bass and drums that is the most captivating aspect of the music being performed.

Overall, this is the sort of music that perhaps would be explored and discussed at jazz workshops. There is no getting away from the technical excellence on offer, but two CDs of this is, ultimately, quite heavy going.

Discography
CD1: Butterflies; Smoky Spot; Mood; All Those Things/Let’s Hang Together; Stephan Wants To Share An Uber With You; Mister J.H; Statement; Commencement; New Again; Catch It.(59.14)
CD2: Mr Sandman; The Single Petal Of A Rose; The Cost Of Living; Mahjong; A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing; Black Beauty; Jitterbug Waltz (36.07)
Borey (ts); Damien Varaillon (b); Stephane Adsuar (d) Paris, 8– 10 May 2019.
Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT582