Vulcanized | Conversation #4
(Hammer Recordings)

In his fourth release of a planned 12 albums composed of different groupings, percussionist Florian Arbenz is definitely having the interesting conversation for which he had hoped.

In what ended up being an impromptu trio album alongside saxophonist Maikel Vistel and bassist Francois Moutin, these three professionals came together well to make a truly great session that’s a total blast to listen to repeatedly.

Everyone here is finding their moments and the right mood at all the right times. These three found a level of connection so tight, it’s a surprise they aren’t playing together on a regular basis.

Their take on Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” is the jam, with Moutin finding a groove that seeks out the hips and commands them to move with everyone else in the studio, spreading to all those subsequently within earshot following suit. Arbenz’s solo near the close isn’t anything to sneeze at, either, but this was definitely something that can be felt from Moutin’s bass line outward. Everything clicks super hard with their take on Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance,” a superb kind of swing that grabs the attention every time you hear it and seems like the full realization of the title in this particular conversation between these three minds working as one.

Yet with their softs being superbly soft and their hards going extra hard, Vulcanized is a fitting addition to Florian Arbenz’s Conversations series, knowing just who to call and making magic happen in the room, like all great players. It breeds confidence in the next eight.

On Sale Now
April 2024
Béla Fleck
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