June 13, 2024

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CD review: Merlin Breij Group – Impulsions 2022: Video, CD cover

Impulsions is a project born from the desire to merge two musical worlds that form the basis of Merlin Breij’s identity as a composer: jazz and “classical” music. Creating a synthesis of these two worlds of music has been a long-standing theme in Merlin Breij’s work. 



The album consists of two pieces: “Impulsions”, a suite for a composite nonet in four movements and an interlude. It explores a mix of different approaches and instrumentation of jazz and classical music: A jazz quartet (drums, double bass, marimba/vibraphone and guitar) is put in dialogue with a string quartet and a harp. Classical forms (sonata form, theme and variations…) are restructured to include improvisation and the unpredictability which jazz offers.

“Ombrages”, a piece for solo electric guitar, pursues a singular way of presenting this instrument in solo, in a formal organization quite different from the usual ones offered in jazz and contemporary music.

I love to hear the personality of each musician of the project in the final rendering of the composition that until then existed in my mind only! That’s what I love most about listening to Impulsions… I started the composition 2 years ago, it was a long process, I’m very proud to see it finished today! At the moment, I am planning a new large-scale piece, like Impulsions… I won’t say much more about it, but there will still be a string quartet involved!

This album uses both jazz and classical musicians. Concerning the jazz musicians, I chose them according to several parameters: their musical personality first. Since not everything is written in their part, it’s important that what they offer fits the rather particular musical esthetics of this music. Secondly, it was also necessary to have musicians who could express this personality within a very written framework without feeling constrained by the very elaborate dimension of this music. And finally, that they are musicians who inspire me and make me want to write for them!

Concerning classical musicians, I needed them to be flexible in their habits, to be able to adapt their type of interpretation to the framework imposed by this rather particular mix of languages, so I privileged musicians who are used to creating today’s music… But there again, the most important thing is that their sound and their playing inspire me! I must say that I was lucky to be very well surrounded in this project,- an interview with me said Merlin Breij.

A wonderful album, a new revelation for me. I advise you to listen to it and have it at home, so that you can introduce it to all guests, and recommend it to your acquaintances, especially jazz and classical music lovers, innovative and impulsive people.

Enjoy the best music!!!

01.Impulsions – I. Éveil
02.Impulsions – Interlude
03.Impulsions – II. Lumière d’été, glacée
04.Impulsions – III. Scherzo de Janus
05.Impulsions – IV. Espérance
06.Ombrages

Guitar, Composition – Merlin Breij
Marimba, Vibraphone, Tam-Tam – Lenni Torgue
Harp – Alice Emery
Violin 1 – Nina Ramousse-Fuchs
Violin 2 – Marie Sophie Baumgartner
Viola – Madalin Noël
Cello – Sarah Fouchenneret
Double Bass – Yves Marcotte
Drums – Fabien Ghirotto

New CD – 2022 – Buy from here

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