Benjamin Koppel has assembled a fantastic group of European musicians for this recording. He utilizes their musical skills wonderfully on his compositions. Compositions that are varied, yet similar in their rich texture. The opening track "Everything is Everything" features elegant piano accompanied by free style drumming with pleasing cymbal accentuation. The saxophone enters in a minimalist fashion to lay down a dry, melodic, lyrical phrase. The trombone joins in with a fresh tone and an upbeat rhythm. The song changes rapidly, the dynamic is now one of joy and freedom. A swinging number evolves with excellent interchanges of saxophone and trombone.
Three of the compositions are by Swedish bassist Thommy Andersson, "Chatelet Chill", "Chatelet Chill Recap" and "Wild is the Wind". "Chatelet Chill" has a pleasing melody with trombone and drums leading the songs introduction, saxophone glides in and harmonizes with the trombone, the rhythm changes to a bopish swing like pulse. The piano of French musician Cedric Piromalli takes over for some fine Monk like musings.
Swiss drummer Daniel Humair, a long time resident of France was one of the key European sidemen for top American jazz artists who visited Paris in the sixties. To the European Jazz Factory recording he adds his tasteful cymbal work, melodic drumming and wonderful sense of time. He blends mellifluously, a minimalist styling that maximizes taste and sonic pleasure. Mr. Humair is always in the groove and maintains an underlying sense of swing no matter how contemporary or avante-garde his band mates rove.
The trombone duties are carried out with passion and excitement by Bulgarian, Gueorgui Kornazov. On the Thommy Andersson composition "Wild is the Wind" we get a glimpse of Mr. Kornazov’s classical side. A melancholy song, that twists and turns through many changes. Opening with a beautiful piano introduction, the bass played col arco glides in. Cymbals are added as wind effect. The trombone in a low timbre carries a somber mood, while the soprano saxophone adds a spirited texture that brings hope and promise to the groove.
European Jazz Factory is a most pleasant recording. A well produced piece de resistance that is a delight on numerous levels. Great compositions, wonderful musicianship and a rich and fluid tapestry of musical discovery. Bravo!