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Michel Meis 4tet - 2023 - "Lollipop Moment"

(39:18; Michael Meis 4tet)


1. Blue Hour 1:21
2. Puff Puff Puff 2:37
3. Bye Bye Balloon 3:10
4. Silberfell 4:43
5. Heyday 4:16
6. Embrace 1:15
7. Track the Crack 6:11
8. The Madness 6:28
9. Joker 5:01
10. Euphoria 4:16


Cedric Hanriot - piano, Rhodes, synthesizer
Alisa Klein - trombone, effects
Michel Meis - drums, effects
Stephan Goldbach - double bass, synthesizer

Prolusion. Luxembourg based composer and musician Michel Meis is a young and active musician involved in a good handful of different ventures, ranging from hardcore band Everwaiting Serenade and art music project Venerem as well as three different ventures that have a stronger focus on various aspects of jazz. Among the latter we find his own band Michel Meis 4tet, who recently self-released the album "Lollipop Moment".

Analysis. This is a band that comes with the self-description of being contemporary jazz, and while jazz is a type of music I still remain a bit of a stranger to when it comes to traditions and variations there is enough going on here for me to subscribe to the notion that this is a fairly accurate description. Not that I would define everything we encounter on this production as being of a contemporary nature myself, but there are certainly some landscapes explored here that exist a bit outside of the norms of what most people would define inside of a strict jazz context. We do get some songs here that I would describe inside of a more traditional context though. Excursions that revolve around expressive instrument details and challenging movements, with a wandering acoustic sounding bass at the bottom end and careful but busy rhythms supporting the trombone and piano that are given a more free role. The more interesting compositions here take a few steps to the left and into a rather different dimension though. Various keyboards often have a central role here, providing different variations of otherworldly sounding textures and on quite a few occasions sounds and effects that have a bit more of a cosmic feel to them, the latter cases coming rather close to being a jazz equivalent of space rock at times. These creations will obviously also ebb and flow quite a bit as any good instrumental song should do, often with the trombone supplying i variety of overlays and solo runs, and fairly often with the keyboards replaced with the Rhodes or the piano in parts of the ensuing excursion into these fanciful, dream laden or cosmic landscapes. Occasionally also with the bass chiming in to emphasize the more otherworldly feel of these constructions. While the compositions revolving around these tendencies are the most interesting as a whole for me, the most captivating song here for me is actually one that is arguably a tad closer to what most people would describe as a more conventional jazz creation here. The playful, borderline circus flavored groove of 'Puff Puff Puff' is one that I found to be utterly charming, with a recurring brass theme of the kind that should bring a smile to the face of most people with a taste and affection for creative, captivating and slightly off kilter music. It is an early highlight of the album the rest of the compositions never quite manage to live up to, even as solid as the rest of the material here is, and if there is only one song you want to lend an ear to on this album then this is the song you should give a listen.

Conclusion. It is not all that often that a more purebred jazz production is covered by the progressor website, and the artist actually submitted this album to a side venture I have that I use for covering music outside of the progressive spectrum. The adventurous spirit along with the dremladen, otherworldly and cosmic vibes present on this album made me decide to cover this album here instead though, as I suspect that this is a production that should be of interest also for some progressive rock fans. Hence progressive rock fans with a certain affection for jazz and a particular curiosity for a more contemporary take on the form with a liberal inclusion of otherworldly and cosmic properties might want to take the time to give this album a spin.

Progmessor: June 2023
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