OCTET de JEAN-PIERRE JULLIAN - Opus Incertum on C.
[Emouvance, www.emouvance.com]

The French musicians seem to be forever melting the classical and jazz genres together. Take Bruno Chavillon, Louis Sclavis, Christine Wodrascka, Sophie Agnel, Michel Portal or François Raulin - all of these musicians to one degree or another have made the distinctions between jazz and contemporary music all but disappear. Percussionist and composer Jean-Pierre Jullian can now safely join that list. Taking its inspiration from the Cretan mythology as well as bull worship, "Opus Incertum on C." starts off its 1st movement with sweeping strings [violins, cellos and bass] to give us a perfect set-up for the main part of the record. Point and counter-points are explored effectively with further use of the piano to give notice of a build-up of momentum. The 2nd movement is clearly indicated with the addition of percussion along with alto and tenor saxophones and the trombone. In certain sections, an interesting friction is heard throughout as the winds battle the strings in a delicate war of supremacy. For the most part, however, the composer has done a great job in keeping the factions apart and forces them to exist in melodic harmony. The best thing is that Jean-Pierre Jullian tends to have a delicate touch on the cymbals, which allows the remainder of his octet to be clearly heard. "Opus Incertum on C." turns out to be another successful marriage of two genres that can live at peace with one another after all.

- Tom Sekowski

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