Laurent Bonnot (Oulipo Quartet) – Songs for Louisa (ENG review)

Juste une Trace // Available April 7th
Jazz moderne
Laurent Bonnot (Oulipot Quartet) – Songs for Louisa (FR review)

“Songs For Louisa” is the follow-up to bassist and composer Laurent Bonnot’s previous album “Songs for Oscar”. For this new opus, Laurent is surrounded by excellent saxophonists Christophe Monniot and Ricardo Izquierdo, and drummer Eric Échampard. A beautiful touch of originality emerges from the whole album, which is the result of the collaboration of these musicians, allowing Laurent to find a particular expressive mode on the electric bass. The artistic radicality of some of his companions is drowned out by the melodic weapon imposed by the composer, which provides a particular sound emotion.
One could compare this album to a painting where the layers overlap and/or mix here and there to bring out the light or the detail of a face. We learn from the press release that the choice of the solo bass aesthetic goes in this direction: whammy/vibrato. Everything is clear and combines, assembles, sounds and juggles. In the ballad “Velvet Break Up”, space is king. The tempo seems to be completely stretched as if the harmonic changes were improvised. The second part (alto solo) evokes the compositions of Erik Satie… This is not, in my view, the only reference to Satie on this album, but certainly the most readable because in the way the title “My Little Sweet” or “Funny Gait” is treated, one can find some traces…
This album makes you want to discover it (and deserves many listens) to grasp all its subtleties, because undoubtedly the musicians who make up this group have “let loose” on the creative side… Who would complain about that? Discovery is holding us! As I was writing these lines, I learned of the passing of Wayne Shorter, touching me deeply due to the disappearance of this artist whom I have been listening to and appreciating for so many years, and if I am talking about this, it is because of certain saxophone parts on this album that remind me of Wayne…
For me, “Songs for Louisa” is therefore an emotional form due to its compositions/improvisations and arrangements that appeal to our subconscious in which our artistic references are lodged. “The Fast Trap” draws on rock inspirations and beyond. It may be difficult for you to imagine what our listening sessions are like at Bayou Blue Radio, going from the worst to the best, as is the case here.
We could say a lot more about this album, but I prefer to let you discover it, although you still have to be a little patient for its release on April 7th. This little marvel, appreciated by the editorial staff of Paris Move and Bayou Blue Radio, is an essential addition to any collection.

Thierry Docmac
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, March 3rd 2023


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