The French jazz-funk trio Three In A Box are the sort of outfit that might entice you into a disreputable looking boite in a bohemian quarter of Paris. One just like the seductively named Le Baiser Salé where they were recently in residence.
Drummer Franck Agulhorn’s sideman credits include top shelf Europeans Biréli Lagrène, Eric Legnini and Bojan Z, but as leader he seems to like getting down and dirty. Moved along by Agulhorn’s snapping, crackling backbeat, the trio makes a tasty, high-calorie, groove-based music. Tune titles like Urban Vibes, Lounge Vibes and Red Light are a strong clue to the material on offer here.
Marseille-based collaborators Cyril Benhamou on keys and electric bassist Pascal Blanc are in accord with Agulhorn, though they do occasionally step outside the box. Benhamou has a restrained, sometimes psychedelic feel for the Fender Rhodes that puts him on a mid-point between Roy Ayers and John Medeski, tilting towards Joe Zawinul.
Blanc’s electric bass bubbles comfortably under, making a plush cushion for a trio sound that goes straight for the pleasure principle and instant gratification – and never mind if you feel a bit guilty when it’s over.
Confused About Time; Bob; Urban Vibes; Childhood Memory; Selloum; Hope Of Tomorrow; Lounge Vibes; Red Light; Blackboard Vibes; Where Are You?; One For The Road; To One Step; Woobly Release (44.35)
Franck Agulhon (d); Cyril Benhamou (kyb); Pascal Blanc (b). Marseille, date unknown.
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