Personnel: Douglas Weiss (acoustic bass); David Kikosky (piano); Eric Le Lann (trumpet); Al Foster (drums).
Audio Mixer: Joe Marciano.
Recording information: systems two (10/2008).
Trumpeter Eric Le Lann must be a late bloomer according to the studio photographs included on this recording. His personal sound also reflects that he is a developing jazz musician, featuring a diffuse sound that occasionally drifts off into sunset horizons. With minor-key flourishes and fading-light tonalities, Le Lann is definitely a work in progress as he sails through calm waters on this mix of standards and originals whose focus is dimly lit, smoky, and elusive to a small degree. Certainly Le Lann has hired a top-notch band to back his hazy sound, with the always extraordinary pianist David Kikoski, veteran drummer Al Foster, and solid pro bassist Douglas Weiss. Perhaps the sound of this brassman takes getting used to as he sounds like nobody else, but that in fact might be his ace in the hole. His rounded, softer edges may sound somewhat enigmatic, but to others strike an appealing chord far removed from the modern edgy or more heartily swinging vintage horn players. His warmth is easily heard on the well-worn "Yesterdays" and the light bossa treatment of "You Don't Know What Love Is," where his legato-based stream of sounds comes through clearly. His originals sport French titles like the somber funereal dirge "C'est la Nuit Lola" and the bopper "La Bleu d'Hortense," while "Herv? in Black and Blue" reflects the style of Dizzy Gillespie and the composition flavor of Benny Golson and "Today I Fell in Love" is a light funk strut with Kikoski on Fender Rhodes electric piano for contemporary contrast. There are two versions of "Ayam," both paced in easy swing where Le Lann's unanchored, wandering mood is laid down gently. The strength of the backing trio bolsters the trumpeter immeasurably in his favor in an overall credible effort, not essential or spectacular, but fateful via a pleasant mood. ~ Michael G. Nastos