Tunisian vocalist Mounir Troudi offers just one element to this electrifying that circumvents the inevitable comparisons to a post-Miles Davis jazz-fusion based endeavor. Of course the kindred spirits are evident, but French trumpeter Erik Truffaz’ brand of jazz is a stylistic one at that. He incorporates dark ambient modal structures into exotically rendered theme pieces along with hard-rock, and electronics-tinged space grooves. And Truffaz is an adroit technician and colorist, which is a component that provides a multifaceted layer to this intriguing program.
The quintet renders a futuristic dub motif, featuring Swiss rapper Nya on the piece titled "Big Wheel," but many of these works are designed with warm flows, crunching guitar licks, and sonorous proclamations. More importantly, the trumpeter’s compositions generate staying power, partly due to his intricately devised parts, regardless of intensity. Troudi’s soul-stirring vocals generate a North African vibe atop the jazz-rock musings, while Truffaz and guitarist Manu Codjia work as a tightly integrated team, along with the ace rhythm section. Featuring samples and rapidly paced percussion grooves on "Tantrik," thoughts of the Sci-Fi movie Blade Runner, come to mind. But Truffaz tones it down a tad during the delicate acoustic-electric piece titled "Le Soleil d’ Eline." (Heartily recommended.... )