Just a year after Erik Truffaz released Mantis
on Blue Note, he has returned with yet another step in his climb in musical exploration, using his instrument certainly not in its traditional clarion role, but rather as a means to attaining his personal vision of sonic description. Invariably, Truffaz reminds listeners of Miles Davis’ later work, wherein he changed listeners’ notions about his music by adding electronics to the mix as he stripped notes down to the minimum, the combined effect of long tones over pulsing rhythm more important than melodic statement.
Moreover, the steady output of Truffaz’ CD’s indicates not only his always curious creative energy, but also the admirable support of Blue Note, which includes in its roster of artists those with narrow public awareness but with growing artistic potential. While Mantis
involved world rhythms, with some emphasis on Middle Eastern modes, The Walk of the Giant Turtle possesses more of a world groove, borrowing a subdued bass-led ballad here on "Turiddu" or a rock sensibility there on "King B." "Next Door" starts out with aggressiveness bordering on bashing as drummer Marc Erbetta drives the tune, the simulation of a guitar part an integral component of the tune’s high level of energy. Again, contrasting the dance beat with laid-back contemplation, "Wilfried" consists of Patrick Muller’s repeated vamp on Fender Rhodes before Truffaz comes in muted and suggestive, implying more in the tune’s minimal melody than other trumpeters can state with flurries of notes. Ending The Walk of the Giant Turtle with the tune of the same name, Truffaz enlists contrasts, the almost silence preceding deep bass entries at dramatic points in the tune.
Once again, with the release of The Walk of the Giant Turtle, Erik Truffaz, while adopting recognizable grooves that keep roiling his music’s undercurrent, continues to wonder at and investigate the nature of music itself as it shifts colors, develops compelling rhythms and captures the listeners’ imaginations.