By Kerilie McDowall | Published June 2017
A tasteful pairing matches France’s award-winning avant-garde piano virtuoso Benoît Delbecq with Belgian keyboard master Jozef Dumoulin in the e-jazz duo of Plug and Pray. This powerful collaboration conjures up Delbecq’s expansive, tireless explorations on piano and keys, featuring electronics, e-drumming and inventive polyrhythms partnered with complementary Fender Rhodes and electronics by Dumoulin.
Evergreens is a departure from Delbecq’s familiar prepared-piano adventures. The album’s introductory “Cortex Rewired,” delves into mysterious soundscapes, with Delbecq’s ethereal piano ostinato fading to Rhodes and e-drumming, closing with the duo’s entwined piano and keys. Delbecq entices the listener with a spellbinding, dreamlike signature that he crafts masterfully, shaping ideas toward new improvisatory vistas.
With their sophisticated approach, Delbecq and Dumoulin’s electronics, piano and keyboard coloring translate into impressionistic imagery, making for meaningful music. “Saint Denis Appetizer” showcases Dumoulin’s electrifying Fender Rhodes, where dazzling lightning-quick keyboard lines take on a cinematic ambience. And “The Zorro Bus” is a graceful exit featuring a taste of Delbecq’s celebrated prepared piano with shimmering, distorted and glassy electronic textural hues.
Fans of either musician won’t be disappointed with Evergreens. Its dreamy sonic musings are a worthy indulgence.
Evergreens: Cortex Rewired; I Had A Dream About This Place; Sonate Pour Un Printemps Meilleur; Le Déjà Vu; Singapore Rhapsody; The Pictures That Got Small; Slow Stepper; Le Moulin Du Ruisseau; Saint Denis Appetizer; The Zorro Bus. (51:31)
Personnel: Benoît Delbecq, piano, e-drumming, keys, and electronics; Jozef Dumoulin, Fender Rhodes, keys, electronics.