Moncef Genoud @ Vitello’s 07.12.12

Rain in July? A Swiss jazz musician? Which one is the rarer feature in Los Angeles? Well, they both came to town this evening at the cozy Vitello’s jazz club, as pianist Moncef Genoud and his bandmates Banz Oester/dr and Andy Barron/b thrilled the audience with some sublime and bohemianly swinging trio music.

Delivering material mostly from his latest two releases, , Genoud displayed his delicate Satie-esque style with sophistication on eloquent readings of “Out of the Blue,” “Aqua” and “Sliding Shadows.” On pieces like these, Genoud mixed his warm impressionistic solos and excursions with intriguing interplay between the Barron’s chiming cymbals and Oester’s loping bass that created a holistic entity rather than a simple excursion into never never land. His dark and probing finger work on his dreamy solo reading of Metissage was filled with cascades of notes reminiscent of a spring waterfall, while his left hand on “Arabic Spring” plodded rhythmically like a desert caravan while his right hand and rest of the team took off like whirling dervishes.

Besides his clever and thoughtful originals, Genoud and company produced some intriguing takes of more familiar tunes. John Lennon’s “Imagine” slowly undulated like a morning tulip, while Miles Davis’ “All Blues” mixed a sly little funky backbeat with some nimble interplay between piano and bass, showing that not only does this artist have a lot to say as a musician, but his fresh approach to writing and arranging could give as much help to America’s music as
another Swiss, John Calvin, did for America’s religion.

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