Thomas Delor: Silence The 13th

In brief:
"This release puts me in mind of Ginger Baker’s two severely underrated trio albums featuring Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden, respectively, Going Back Home and Falling Off The Roof"

This release puts me in mind of Ginger Baker’s two severely underrated trio albums featuring Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden, respectively, Going Back Home (Atlantic, 1994) and Falling Off The Roof (Atlantic, 1996). Here was the star drummer with Frisell automatically taking the limelight but Baker’s often idiosyncratically metered drumming still managed to captivate the listener.

So it is with Thomas Delor’s new album, which follows-on from his debut recording The Swaggerer (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2018), his trio once more competed by guitarist Simon Martineau and the ever-reliable double bassist Georges Correia.


Whilst Delor’s sparse yet meticulous drumming is restrained there’s always a thrill in hearing his sporadic percussive adornments flit from channel to channel. But it’s undoubtedly Martineau who maintains the attention; his tone is not unlike Frisell’s, albeit without the latter’s characteristic use of glissandi.

Two thirds of the album consists of Delor originals including the lengthy opener Syllogism which affords plenty of opportunity for the drummer to demonstrate his often highly impressive virtuosity. The equally lengthy title track is also worth a mention, and showcases once more Delor’s compositional prowess.

Of the three non-originals, Charlie Parker’s My Little Suede Shoes, which first appeared on the album South Of The Border (Mercury, 1952) is an upbeat Latin number, more like a Sonny Rollins tune and Martineau even manages a brief quote from Doxy as if to re-emphasise Bird’s late-stage change of direction. There’s also a charming version of Charles Trenet’s Que Reste-t-il De Nos Amours? The outlier however has to be Frédéric Chopin’s funereal Prelude Op. 28, No. 20, which gradually gains traction over its seven minutes course; Martineau here is double-tracked to add polyphonic piquancy and it culminates with some arresting distorted guitar work.

Considering this is supposed to be that “difficult” second album, this surely ranks as Delor’s best record to date.

Sample/buy Thomas Delor: Silence The 13th direct from Fresh Sound

Syllogism; Silence The 13th; Peaux Pourries; My Little Suede Shoes; Providence Incitation; Minefield; Que Reste-t-il De Nos Amours?; Prelude Op. 28, No. 20; Une Soupe, Et Au Lit (57.20)
Delor (d); Simon Martineau (elg); Georges Correia (b). Udine, 4-5 September 2019.
Fresh Sound New Talent FSNT-592

Latest audio reviews


More from this author


Jazz Journal articles by month


Roger Beaujolais Italian Trio: Barba Lunga

Vibraphonist Roger Beaujolais has been on the British music scene for a good while – getting on for 40 years – and his musicianship...

Still Clinging to the Wreckage 12/19

The coffee lounge of Liverpool’s Adelphi Hotel is designed to strike awe into all but cabinet ministers and the most eminently U. But in Mr...

Chuck Morgan: the ukulele player you never knew

From articles and books, interviews and face-to-face meetings it is clear that as with people in other walks of life jazz musicians are not...

Postbop Jazz In The 1960s: The Compositions Of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock And Chick Corea

This is an academic book by Keith Waters, investigating the compositions of Shorter, Hancock, and Corea in the 1960s. There are separate chapters on...

Billy Bang: Lucky Man

This film follows violinist Billy Bang as he returns to Vietnam in 2008, where he served as a young soldier 40 years earlier, and...

JJ 11/90: The Jimmy Giuffre Trio – Princess

Given the paucity of Jimmy Giuf­fre recordings, this new release of previously unissued material is more than welcome, despite its limited playing time. The...