Eric LEGNINI – Piano; Clovis NICOLAS – Double Bass; Jeff BALLARD – Drums
Playing in New York at Smalls on January 13, 2014 for French Quarter Jazz

jazz 5 Sing Twice! The title says it all. This play on words is a particularly good description of Eric Legnini’s career. Sing twice, think about it ! It is all the more apt since, after releasing Miss Soul in 2005, Eric took seven years out to consider things before returning with this new achievement. And what an achievement: this is a jazz leaning album that often flirts with pop. His whole career reveals the ubiquitous nature of this 40-something, who learned his trade playing alongside some of the best improvisers in his native Belgium. In 2008, he brought out Trippin’, the final instalment in the triptych of albums (Miss Soul, Big Boogaloo) which saw him become one of the key players on the French trio scene, with his knowledge and know-how regarding standards matched only by his deep understanding of soul classics. Later came The Vox (2011), a record whose very title further emphasised his desire for a promi-sing future. “The voice makes everything clearer, more understandable. It’s just very direct”, Eric said at the time. This approach earned him a Victoire de la Musique (French music award) in the Jazzcategory. In 2013, our leading man is staying on course with Sing Twice ! No doubt Sing Twice!, from its very conception, makes its intentions clear: it is a popedged jazz album and a jazz-adorned pop album. Take “Snowfalls” for example, a real anthem that should take fans of Radiohead and E.S.T. back to the good old days! Or “Only For A Minute”, a vocal imbued with the protective spirit of Stevie Wonder, draped in a folk atmosphere. While “Yan Kadi” elegantly follows in the footsteps of papa Fela and “The Source” is in fact a Griotte’s veiled tribute to “Africa Brass”, “Cinecitta” closes this collection with a distinct nod to his native Italy, while also showing this arranger’s respect for all the film music greats. Eric fully owns up to these many references and reverences, just as he does unreservedly to playing jazz. “Listening to my record carefully will reveal a genuine jazz feel, in the way the band plays together and the way the vocals are underlined in a manner very specific to the genre. For those who know how to listen, it is a laboratory where jazz is the matrix and pop the way forward.”

Website – FacebookMyspace


1/19 @ Dizzy’s (Winter Jazzfest) – New York, NY [info]