Celine Bonacina Trio feat. Nguyen Le – Way Of Life

If you’re not familiar with the ACT label yet, time to get busy as they are so on form at the moment, it is little wonder that they’ve been voted label of the year already!

Not only do they have the incredible Vijay Iyer on board (check out his latest album Solo released this week) but also Nguy?™n L?™ (he of Signature Edition 1 and Saiyuk to name just two) and now we can add the C?©line Bonacina Trio.
The trio consists of C?©line (baritone, alto and soprano saxophones, vocals), Nicolas Garnier (electric bass) and Hary Ratimbazafy (drums and vocals).
Hang on! Baritone? Yeah, C?©line’s main instrument in the baritone sax. She was brought to the attention of label boss Siggi Loch by L?™ after meeting her at a in 2008. A couple of years later and L?™ features on four of the 13 tracks on the debut Way Of Life.
The opener ‘ZigZag ’ hits you in the balls with its full on bass-ness with Gallic tones. But this is anything but a album. Her sound is so full; very full. On the cusp of brimming over and it’s not because she’s a woman that were impressed by her playing I must point out.
Most of the album is composited by her and ‘Wake Up’ is avant-funk (she’s played in Nils Langren’s band in the passed) and is one of the many highlights along with ‘Course Pour Suite’ as there’s a quirky spirit here (perhaps it’s because Hary is Madagascian and Nicolas comes from a love of rock/fusion background).
We know that L?™ likes to collaborate and he’s at his finest here with subtle contributions (like Saiyuk) to full-on solos. Best up is the shuffler ‘Ra Bentr’ol’ and fusion of ‘Ekena’ of ‘Jungle’. And on ‘Entre deux R?™ves’, is Mahavishnu in the house? Or is it Albert Ayler?) Spirits Rejoice! jazz fusion is coming back I tell you.
As you might guess, the Trio want to show off their range on Way Of Life so it does often flip from one extreme (the gentle expression of ‘Free Woman’) to the world tinged ‘Travel Story’ and to the rockin’ ‘RAB’ and somewhere in between, ‘Histoire de’ (and I love those Swingle Singers vocals) to the modern jazz fusion.
This band are destined to be as big as the baritone sound that Bonacina commands so well and Nguy?™n L?™ invitation is pure bonus – more proof that ACT is Jazz label of the year 2010!
Reviewed: C?©line Bonacina Trio feat. Nguy?™n L?™ – Way Of Life (ACT) Cat. No. ACT 9498-2 Release date: 2nd August 2010 Artwork: Untitled by Erwin Wurm.
1. ZigZag Blues (3:21)
2. Course Pour Suite (4:17)
3. Ra Bentr’ol (6:05)
4. Wake Up (3:52)
5. Free Woman (4:56)
6. Travel Story (4:44)
7. Ekena (4:54)
8. Deep Red (1:34)
9. RAB (1:58)
10. Histoire de (2:53)
11. Jungle (5:02)
12. Entre deux R?™ves (7:47)
13. Toty Come Bach (0:52)
Echo Deutscher Musikpress – Jazz label of the year 2010