Florian Pellissier Quintet - Rio (LP)
Hot Casa Records (HC69)
A fantastic 5th album of the sensational french Jazz band from pianist Florian Pelissier, recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio (New Jersey, USA), mixed by Jordan Kouby at Question de Son (Paris) and mastered by Frank Merritt at The Carvery (London, UK). Hard Bop 2021 at his best, available as Deluxe Tip-On Vinyl LP! Florian Pellissiers tells the story: "How did we get here? In this tropical daze, contemplating the surrounding landscape, the luxuriance of nature, with the ocean and her ballet of gentle waves, caressing the sand - timidly gaining a few inches with each passing adagio. The temperature, as if perfectly adjusted to the most precise degree by an artful yet mercurial hand knowing full well that it could, with idle ease, sway the fragile quality of this luscious and suave atmosphere... However, just a few months before, the course had been set for New Jersey. More specifically; to Rudy Van Gelder's studio: one of jazz’s greatest unstitutions. This pilgrimage was to both celebrate and crown the twentieth anniversary of the Quintet. An unchanging line-up that yielded four albums, with this fifth recording intended to be our artistic culmination before moving onto something else. New adventures, on different roads perhaps. Van Gelder's studio, long revered to be a chapel for the artists who passed through it with it’s exceptional acoustics, was the place to be. Its woodwork seemingly encrusted with thousands of hours of Blue Note recordings, still pulsating with years of incantations from past sessions…now we too were going to make our own mark. By lighting the voodoo fire there, we would submerge the place in a collective trance. Dark and dense. Did we seek to summon voodoo? Of course not. It is the Loa of music who decides whether or not they will be present. Yet this record, or more, the one that I originally dreamt of, was so raw. The one I initially visualized to be messy, rich and spiritual actually clashed with the creative reality of the moment. The energy, the dynamics of the group were, at that time, not parallel with those tempestuous qualities so when we pushed, something resisted. We strived to sink into darkness - yet reality lead us back again and again towards an ever more sensitive space of grace and elegance. We arrived wanting to take out the machete, but finesse, in the end, called out to us. Obviously, the sessions saw new trails emerge, basked in a serendipitous and welcoming light. Rather than battling, we instead turned our compass towards the calmer latitudes of Capricorn and Cancer. It was then the Quintet embarked for tropical promenades in the newfound tranquillity of this legendary studio. So how did we get there? By not upsetting the creative forces that willed the powers of voodoo against taking our souls, at least this time anyway. From afar, my faithful creative daemons came galloping out, like gazelles, from the groove and gracefully forged a rhythm machine, encased with futuristic vibes that I myself then layered with synthesizers. At once intoxicated by all these sultry elements and ful filled by our orchestral solstice – I thought of Rio. And this one’s to my Rio."