[JZ Club Special Night] “Sing Twice!” Eric Legnini Trio ft. Hugh Coltman/Jz Club

Time:May.7th, 10:00pm
Tickets: RMB 80 (presell) / 120 (door)
taobao: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1.w887018891.8.MTUe8L&id=17884970644
Reservation: 021- 64310269
Add: 46# West Fuxing Road

Eric Legnini – Piano/Fender Rhodes
Franck Agulhon – Drums
Thomas Bramerie – Double bass
Hugh Coltman – Voice


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 Jazz category. In 2013, our leading man is staying on course with Sing Twice! Ten gifted fingers – or thirty including drummer Franck Agulhon and double-bass player Thomas Bramerie –
and three capital voices: there you have the magic formula (spiced up here and there with a brass section, a funky guitar and afro-jazz-beat percussions) that brings everything together. The vocalists include, firstly, Hugh Coltman, whom Eric met on the set of TV channel Arte’s One Shot Not show. Eric later invited the British singer to perform with
him for the first time at one of his concerts in the autumn of 2011. “He gave it a more blues, more soul, more Stevie twist”. So much so that Hugh became a band member in his own right, as attested to by the three superlative themes on which his singular tone – ranging from dandy overtones through to a falsetto blues – gives this album its
multi-layered and unique soul-pop personality. Two female vocalists who also share the spot, bare their souls on this record, adding their own complementary colours: Mamani Keita from Mali, in a more evident afro-funk vein, and American-Japanese singer Emy Meyer, with her clear folk touch. “With Mamani, I managed to complete what I had started to do on The Vox. Here, the ever-present African continent is embodied by this Griotte, who lends great depth and energy to the two tracks I invited her to feature on. As for Emy, she brings in a fresh, more clearly folk-pop outlook.” Recorded over two days in spring, polished over a month this autumn but in preparation for over
a year: it all started on the road, on the tours that took the trio to the four corners of the earth. “Little by little, we built up our repertoire first during soundchecks and then on stage. We made it our own, without the vocalists, just the three of us. Most of the tracks were created that way, and then I fine-tuned them individually. When Hugh brought in his lyrics, his songs adopted a distinctive inflexion, as was to be expected.” One can still feel this first live layer in the deep organic vibrations. The tracks had been developed in a live setting and then worked on again and again. “The aim was to lay down the tracks with a farfisa, with the help of a simple drum machine. Taking this hyper-minimalistic structure, we were able to expand the songs a little more, but not too much. The idea was to retain the shape of the songs, without leaving behind the jazz element. In any case, in the
studio we play just as we do live: we try things, we take risks. It is a trio with vocalists! It’s as if I was creating a vocalist’s album but with no style restrictions. I allow myself some digressions. There’s nothing too straightforward about this record!” And thus the clear outlines and highly melodic approach never prevent harmonic detours and rhythmic
eruptions. Your work can be devoted to serving the voice without neglecting the dynamics of the trio. It’s all in the subtle proportions.
Production, a key factor in this, was taken on by Eric, as a great admirer of Danger Mouse, Grizzly Bear and Daniel Lanois, not to mention one of John Barry’s most faithful followers. “I didn’t want a mere snapshot of what we play on stage. My work as a producer
has helped me a lot and is ever-present, right down to the choice of frequencies” says the man who used vintage keyboards to materialise his ubiquity: organs from the seventies (Eko, Farfisa), analog synths, effects pedals, beats programming via old drum machines, Fender Rhodes but, above all, a good old piano… 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 Legnini 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.”