Hubert Dupont – Trio Aurore
(Ultrabolic. Album review by Peter Slavid)
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Hubert Dupont is a French bass player who came late to jazz after graduating initially as an engineer. No doubt that informed his choice of “Ultrabolic” as the name for the record label he founded in 2004. In the 1990s his activity comprised co-leader of the band Kartet which also included Benoît Delbecq, and being the co-founder of the Hask Collective.
Most recently he has produced a series of albums that could vaguely be categorised as “world jazz”. That’s sometimes used as a pejorative term, but this is real jazz influenced by the rhythms of other cultures. His albums Jasmim (named for the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution) and Golan (named for the Golan Heights) featured Palestinian percussionist Youssef Hbeisch. He’s also present on this album playing Derbouka (a goblet drum), Riq (a tambourine) and Bendir (a frame drum).
The third member of the trio is Tosha Vukmirovic, a Balkan clarinet and saxophone player and founder of the band Slonovski Bal.
The compositions on this album are either by band members or are well known songs from the region. It opens with Slide Dance – after a short bass introduction the clarinet and percussion join in for a typically Balkan melody. Then it moves into an improvised bass duet with the drum, before the clarinet comes in for a solo to end the track.
The second track, Samarcande, couldn’t be more different. This time the introduction with bowed bass leads to a slow and moody bass melody and improvisation, supported by a drum. It’s more than three minutes before the clarinet finally rejoins in a plaintive mood.
On Zajdi Zajdi, a Macedonian folk song, Vukmirovic moves over to the kaval (a Balkan end-blown flute) before returning to the clarinet for another lament. On Efto Dilo he plays saxophone. In this track the rhythms shift constantly, whether leading or supporting. There are melodic sections and at times almost sounds like a conventional saxophone trio.
Throughout the album the mood switches frequently. There’s dance music and sad songs but the overall impression is one of joy in the music. World jazz, maybe – but definitely jazz, and a celebration of influences from outside our borders.
Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on mixcloud.com/ukjazz and various internet stations
LINK: Trio Aurore on Bandcamp