Thursday, April 7, 2011

Francis Coletta and Jonas Tauber: Port Said Street

Origin Arts
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Port Said Street

Marseilles-born guitarist Francis Coletta and Swiss cellist Jonas Tauber joined forces last year to create this marvelous duet album. I can’t remember ever having heard this instrumental combination in a jazz framework, but it works beautifully.

Both Coletta and Tauber began playing in the classical genre; as their interests expanded, they became members of jazz units and/or accompanists to vocalists and dance groups. Although Colleta has concentrated on the guitar, Tauber has switched back and forth between the cello and acoustic bass.

Six of the 10 tracks are originals by Coletta, and the rest are jazz standards by American composers: Horace Silver’s "Nica's Dream," Johnny Green's "Body and Soul," Ellington and Tizol's "Caravan" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "How Insensitive."

Three factors contribute to the excellence of this release: the quality of the instrumentalists, the compositions chosen, and one of the finest recording studio efforts I’ve heard in ages.

The resulting album sounds like Coletta and Tauber have been performing together for years. The basic melodic lines and variations are so fascinating and complex, you’d swear that everything is "written" ... but that’s not the case. These artists must use nothing short of "mind-melding."

You’ll never grow tired of this album.

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