Orchid – Eclosion (ENG review)

Directed by Thomas Julienne // Deluge – album available

A lot of time goes by between France and the USA, a message from Thomas Julienne. We chat, and he tells me about this collective of musicians that he leads, something that piques my senses. A few days later, the album arrives at the office. Despite being overwhelmed with albums lately, that lovely flower singing on the cover seems to say to me, “Come on, my boy, make one more effort…” Even though my ears were already satisfied all day with the beautiful music I received the day before, I take a pause and slide the CD into the player.
Of course, I had taken the time to search the web, and I stumbled upon the description of the Big Band: “Orchid Big Band is the missing link between Thad Jones and Stravinsky. Under the direction of Thomas Julienne, this young group brings together 18 musicians passionate about ensemble playing and original music. Drawing inspiration from the sources of the great jazz orchestras of the glorious era, as well as European art music and world music, the group, formed by the Deluge collective, plays with norms and aesthetics to offer an uninhibited interpretation of the jazz big band.”
So, we have been warned. Knowing Thomas Julienne’s work, I expected exactly this kind of music, a delightfully crafted piece performed by inspired musicians. Everything described about the group is present, not to mention the euphoric emotions stirred by the beauty of the interpretations and arrangements, with a touch of poetry that only Europeans have the secret to.
“Blossoming” is an understatement, or perhaps the baby grew up quickly… This jazzifying Big Band embraces the symphonic form, showcasing an exquisite writing style that highlights each instrument without being redundant. It’s a stroke of genius, bravo to the artist! Bravo to the artists, because after indulging in big band music these past few weeks, if it weren’t for this beautiful originality, I might have missed this album. So let’s pay tribute to this little world:
Saxophones: Olga Amelchenko, Nora Kamm, Maxime Berton, Jeanne Michard, Julien Dubois
Trumpets : Gabriel Levasseur, Olivier Gay, Laure Fréjacques, Julie Varlet
Trombones: Rozann Bézier, Sébastien Iep Arruti, Gabrielle Rachel, Sébastien Llado (Sebastien Llado, whom we adore at the office, and we would love for him to produce a new album… once again, he is sublime, with a perfectly recognizable sound)
Flute : Amina Mezaache
Guitar: Mathilda Haynes
Piano: Clément Simon
Double bass: Nolwenn Leizour
Drums: Gaétan Diaz
Conductor: Thomas Julienne.
It is worth mentioning that this delightful nectar was recorded in Touraine, a region I know well, and which is full of good wines that seem to have perfectly benefited this Big Band. This album is full of pleasant surprises, magical moments, a creation that we would like to see more often, where the intelligence of the compositions and arrangements is the rule from the first to the last track.

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

PARIS-MOVE, June 8th 2023


To buy the CD