on 12 July 2009
If you have some knowledge of Bach's "so-called" Brandenburg Concertos and an affection for the rhythmic side of jazz you should take a listen to this set by the Jaques Loussier Trio. In my personal opinion some of his earlier records were neither well grounded in jazz nor in his chosen classical themes or composers and the combined effect was often of music which missed both marks. For whatever reasons that is not the case here because in these recordings he sounds fully involved and actually manages to give the well known Concertos a fresh rhythmic look without losing the greatness that lies at the heart of the originals. Naturally using only a trio one misses the extra instruments and flavours given in the differing original instrumentations for the 6 concertos. For example the second lines of the trumpet are much missed in the opening and throughout on Concerto Number 2. But as a kind of replacement there is an elan that would have delighted Bach and also reminded him of the happy circumstances he enjoyed whilst putting the originals together and then playing them for the first time at the Court in Köthen.
Undoubtedly what makes these recordings really effective is the solid and accurate bass playing of Benoit Dunoyer de Segonzac who functions as another voice and is an effective and forceful counterpoint to the usually softer piano of Loussier. In contrast the drummer Andre Arpino is used mainly as a supporter and colourist, rather as Connie Kay did so often with the Modern Jazz Quartet.
But the true highlight of the recording is the combination of three tracks making up Concerto Number 5. These are significantly longer than any of the other tracks but do not rely on mere padding. Loussier clearly has got "inside" this Concerto the most, and fully relates to it. He sounds genuinely relaxed and swingy particularly in the first Allegro whilst in the Affettuoso which he treats like a jazz ballad his feeling for the original is truly evident. In contrast in the final Allegro when Loussier moves from the original time signature into the jazzy four/four one has the sense of evolution with the music firmly grounded in the original but with new attractive dimensions. The piano section without bass and drums then makes an ideal bridge into the strong recapitulation of the theme.
Sadly Loussier has often been seen as merely a cheap populist and perhaps sometimes he may have been. But this recording shows he is much more than that. On balance there is, perhaps surprisingly, more Bach than jazz, but accepting this type of mixed genre for what it is, this is one of the best examples of its kind. For those who want to freshen up their view of the original "Brandenburgs" this could be a splendid way to do so.
on 16 September 2014
Those expecting grand arrangements of Bach's famous Brandenburg Concertos (as Loussier should well be able to provide) will probably be disappointed here. This is a rather modest, almost sketchy affair, where, according to the cover notes, Loussier has attempted to reduce Bach to the essence rather than adding to him as previously. Well, this music rarely swings, it hardly sings, and there is very little joy to be found - how could this ever be the essence of Bach? I deeply respect Loussier's desire to expand borders and renew himself and dearly love every single one of his previous Bach records that I have heard. This time, the results fall curiously flat, at least to this pair of ears. Where Loussier usually has me running to enjoy the original Bach versions as well as his own, here he just makes me wish to hear the original instead. I really feel he should have left the Brandenburgers alone until he was ready to tackle them with his full powers.
on 29 November 2012
Love Jacques Loussier Trio Bach. Why?
Beacuse of the German interpetation of Prussian winning team at the negotiation table. Concerto No.3 in G major, Concerto No.5 in D major ( I. Allergo, II. Affettuoso, III. Allergo) and Concerto No.6 in B-flat major. All set of six Brandenburg concerti valued at a mere four groschen each in the Chateau depot and central piece of the collection was Concerto No. 5. Why? A history does not have immediacy of walking through the noble avenues and public places of towns. Brandenburg gate is not just landmark of Berlin city and Germany after World War 2. What more to say about Jacques Loussier pianist, composer, recording producer and his Bach Trio? The book has shaped our culture and civilisation like no other medium. All publications in german language were systematically collected including books from Austria and Switzerland. National bibliothek is the oldest book culture museum in the world and also one of the most important with regard to scope and quality of its collection and music copyright organization. This is school example of education and Win-Win negotiation, I do recommend!