daoud – Good Boy (ENG review)

daoud – Good Boy

Sometimes chance works out well. Indeed, this album, released in April, only reached us two or three days ago, which is perfect in this case because it allows the album to be in our hands at a time when production and album releases are slowing down a bit, giving it better visibility. Summarizing Daoud in a few lines is a complex, even impossible task. Known for his explosive live performances and powerful compositions, 2023 saw Daoud perform with internationally renowned artists such as Ibrahim Maalouf, Lakecia Benjamin, and Erik Truffaz around the world. His diverse career includes co-producing number-one albums and publishing several books on trumpet playing and improvisation.

Influenced by contemporary greats like Keyon Harrold and Theo Croker, Daoud’s quintet spent two days at the Alhambra studio in Rochefort – a converted old cinema – capturing the bold live sound of the ensemble and original compositions based on grooves. With an intense and sarcastic tone, through his debut, the trumpeter strives to prove that “you can play ‘serious music’ without taking yourself too seriously.”

These few lines perfectly summarize this album, which is friendly, joyful, rhythmic, and colorful. The humor of this “Good Boy” by Daoud is presented like a calling card from the first track of the album “Ford Focus 1999.” You quickly understand the importance of this musician with his rich compositions and particularly meticulous and intelligent arrangements. An excellent trumpeter with a universe all his own, you can’t help but be an admiring listener. Creatively using modern and elegant production, ‘Good Boy’ draws from neo-soul, stoner rock, and psychedelia, with an atypical lineup including synthesizers and a vibraphone to create a unique, colorful palette unique to Daoud. By expanding the ensemble with a series of guest artists, including a lush string quartet, an affecting and burning electric guitar, and a lyrically melodic saxophone, the album takes the listener through a number of refreshing and contrasting sonic worlds and textures.

We can even talk about a kinetic universe because, indeed, the ten compositions of this album sound like ten short films, setting an absolutely fascinating scene with extraordinary expertise. This Franco-Moroccan artist is clearly inspired by his origins, incorporating them into his own form of jazz where the two worlds intertwine to the point where they can no longer be defined. It’s impossible for me to compare this artist to another, having completely immersed myself in his universe. I found it challenging to write this review as each track resonates with me. So, I wisely listened and re-listened, on my studio monitors, then with headphones, not knowing exactly which perspective to take. But evidently, what I like about this album is this notion of diversity and joy at a time when some are closing in on themselves. This album is particularly delightful. Delightful enough to join our small army of “Essential” albums.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, May 29th 2024

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Line up:
daoud | Trumpet
Etienne Manchon | Piano, Rhodes, Synths, Hammond B3
Guillaume Prévost | Drums
Félix Robin | Vibraphone
Louis Navarro | Double Bass

Alexandre Galinié | Saxophone
Jeanne Le Goff | Violin
Estelle Besingrand | Cello
Timosha | Guitar

Track Listing:
Ford Focus 1999
Ficky Stingers
Partir Un Jour
Terreau Universel 30 L
Who’s A Good Boy (Charlie’s A Good Boy)
Non Peut-être
Quick (Le Restaurant)