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 (Freshsound Records / Distribution Socadisc)



 "Julien Alour and David Prez give it their all (...) pushed by Vincent Bourgeyx, Damien Varaillon and the leader who also signs all the compositions and arrangements. Music (...) sincere, brilliant and terribly effective"

(Philippe Vincent “Jazzmagazine”)


"Stunning !"

(Alex Dutilh “France Musique”)


“We are in this classic vein of this jazz which carries high. The actors are carried by a superb and communicative energy (... beautiful writing and soloists at their best!”

(Jean-Marc Gélin “the Dnj’’)

“Olivier Robin draws inspiration, with passion and elegance, from the great days of jazz in the 50s and 60s, with his many Jazz Messengers. Relying on these solid musical roots, he then breaks away from them to deliver original compositions, filled with a joyful, impatient and necessary energy with this playful and generous quintet which takes on a leading drum kit in the service of committed soloists. »



“The band plays very good hard bop in what I would describe as 21 century Jazz Messengers mode. Alour’s trumpet is bright and brassy and his solos are well thought out. Bourgeyx’s piano lines are very delicate and lyrical for the most part, standing out in relief alongside trumpet and tenor sax. The compositions are all by drummer leader Robin and are interesting themes in the hard-bop tradition. Tenor man Prez belies his name by sounding more like Coltrane than Young but his contributions are an integral part of the band. Bassist Varaillon is rock steady throughout and gets his solo opportunities. Robin prods, coaxes and sometimes drive furiously, controlling all from the drum stool. »

(Derek Ansell “Jazz journal magazine” England) ***


“An album of which Olivier Robin composed the entire repertoire, timeless and joyful hardbop modernized by the talented musicians who surround him. »

(Pierre De Chocqueuse “Le blogdechoc”)


“With its sense of unity and its musicians, Olivier Robin’s quintet has created an album that deserves attention. » ****

(Tony’s jazz house, Japan)

“Drummer Olivier Robin is also composer and arranger for the music of this record which draws its roots deep in jazz from be-bop with, often references to the Blue Note period of the 60s and a positioning of the drums “at the Art Blakey”, as a playmaker and pillar of rhythm. A solid team of musicians surrounds him to give all their colors to his arrangements. »

(Thierry Giard, “Jazz Culture”)

“The drums,  composition and arrangement are the three characteristics of Olivier Robin. (…) With David Prez, Julien Alour, Vincent Bourgeyx and Damien Varaillon, he makes us hear modern jazz that reflects his era. »
(“Jazzyell”, Japan)

"Olivier Robin, drummer and composer, has just presented his new CD Jungle Box at the start of summer. All of his compositions are anchored in the solid jazz of post bebop. We feel his admiration for Mingus and this pre-free jazz of the 60s, but in a distanced context. He surrounded himself with musicians in the same vein as him. Double bassist Damien Varaillon does a wonderful, inspired job, opening the themes towards the freer jazz of today. The pianist Vincent Bourgeyx is not to be outdone, he finds all the dexterity of the greats of the sixties, a very broad playing which gallops on the keyboard with delightful efficiency. As for the two blowers, David Prez on tenor sax and Julien Alour on trumpet and flugelhorn, they have as much fun in the energetic choruses as in the very personal solos. These five musicians agree beautifully on sound, inspiration, culture and the pleasure of playing. They have in common the same research around this music which seems to flow naturally.”

(Bernard Cassat  “O Jazz”)

"Olivier Robin, without embellishment, immediately launches the machine which reminds us of the "Jazz Messengers". Straight into the subject, the themes followed by short solos from each give the spirit of the group. Hard bop atmosphere which will develop throughout throughout the album on compositions signed by the drummer, supported by young "cats", Julien Alour and Damien Varaillon, and solid road players, Vincent Bourgeyx and David Prez. (..) In this tradition which integrates the young keeping the know-how of older ones, Olivier Robin invites us to discover his universe which is part of the tradition of modern jazz. We knew his quintet with Sébastien Jarrousse who through their concerts and two albums had received multitudes of prizes, here he continues his journey in an even more personal way. His quality no longer needs to be demonstrated because through his collaborations (...) he has proven his ability to support the most demanding musicians. An album (...) which could have appear with the former Blue Note."

(Michel Antonelli, Jazz Hot)


“Jungle box” was a “Coup de Cœur” in Michel Dubourg’s show “Atout Jazz” on radio France Bleu and broadcast in “Open Jazz” by Alex Dutilh on France Musique
as well as  in  “JazzBox” by Jacques Thévenet on “Radio Aligre”.









RPRESS REVIEW           






WEST France September 2006
With their distinguished diplomas for the most part, they have all sailed here and there in the
solidly rated training courses of the moment. What to build the temperament and repertoire
before coming together as a quintet. Emil Spanyi on piano, Jean-Daniel Botta on double bass,
Olivier Robin on drums, Olivier Bogé on alto saxophone and Sébastien Jarrousse on
tenor and soprano saxophone, it gives an elegant quintet which walks with enthusiasm and
appetite in a Tribulation with the pretty colors of Sébastien Jarrousse’s compositions? we
will not look for the thrills of a radically innovative revolution, but we will let ourselves
embark with real pleasure in a pleasantly accomplished sound universe.


The latest jazz news, June 2006
“From the first note, the quintet of Jarrousse and Robin throws us into a feverish hard bop
and tumultuous guided by an energetic climate. […] the first things that strike you when listening
of the cd are a very serious desire to play on the part of the musicians and a play to
the terribly efficient American who delivers a sharp swing. The homogeneity and
aesthetic and artistic constancy of the work and the sincerity of the music are such that we
believes that the pieces are all first takes recorded "straight". […] We guess
a firm mastery of the craft of composition in the saxophonist who manages to combine
skillfully melodies and dazzlingness. »


“Disque d’émoi” Jazz magazine, April 2006
“Tribulation” displays the color: red. Fire red, passion red. […] first attempt at
young people who deploy knowledge and energy that are usually found among
musicians from the other side of the ocean. »


Ouest-France, March 12, 2006
“[…] an elegant quintet which wanders with enthusiasm and appetite in a “Tribulation” with
pretty colors in the compositions of Sébastien Jarrousse. […] we will let ourselves be embarked with
a real pleasure in a pleasantly accomplished sound universe. »

« Jazzman, March 2006
“With this quintet, […] Jarrousse shows that he has gained depth. The tempos removed
arouse enthusiasm: motor skills of compositions combining orchestral mass and angles
lively phrasing, slaughter of soloists, breathing of syntax, musicality of lines of
bass and crackling complicity of the drums! »


Zurban, February 2006
“Be-bop not dead!” […] We are struck by the modernity of the language in question. Here is
typically the example of young jazz artisans of today, trained in the best
schools, demonstrating in just a few measurements the extent of their register. Mention
special to the pianist of Hungarian origin Emil Spanyi, bearer of a kind of energy at the same time
clear and furious. »


Jazz Notes, February 2006
“Here is an ensemble of which it is important that their respective talents lead them to be
discovered by a wider audience. […] The compositions are interesting, the choruses full
imagination, the whole demonstrates perfect cohesion and fierce energy while
throughout a disc that is worth the detour! »


Battery Magazine, February 2006
“"Tribulation" is a good business card for Olivier Robin who is already shaping up to be a
first-rate drummer. […] So, take a close look at this cake, and don’t
don't miss this quintet which is definitely worth seeing live. »


Drummer Magazine, February 2006
“We find all the energy of the Messengers plus the shadow of Coltrane, as it was
digested by Kenny Garret and other virtuosos of each instrument of this era. Olivier
Robin perfectly fulfills his role as a very good drummer with the help of Jean-Daniel
Botta has what the pianist - the great Spanyi - and the two saxophonists Jarrousse and Bogé need
to make everything work as it should, and much more! Absolutely worth seeing live. », January 2006
“This brand new quintet, co-led by saxophonist Sébastien Jarrousse and drummer
Olivier Robin plays a repertoire of original themes composed by the saxophonist. Climates
hard bop, contemporary, Latin jazz, odd metrics, modals, everything is an excuse to put
highlight the quality of the soloists and the obvious complicity which unites these musicians speaking the same
language. », January 2006
“Noted at the last La Défense competition with the first prize for composition, the
saxophonist Sébastien Jarrousse, inspired by Coltrane, Shorter and Brandford Marsalis,
continues its rise and has acquired a remarkable quintet with new stars
French jazz. Together, they perfectly illustrate the revival of French jazz version
hard bop. Swing to the extreme.




RPRESS REVIEW           






Keith Copeland, drummer
“After their first album “Tribulation” which was widely acclaimed by critics, Jarrousse/Robin
Quintet persists and signs. […] The interaction between these five young musicians is everything
simply fantastic! The compositions are daring and, where it is not always easy
to improvise, the group achieves this with disconcerting ease. Keep an eye on this
quintet. They will go very far. »

Jazzman, March 2008, “**** Convincing”
There are not that many groups, even considering the history of jazz, to associate a
alto saxophone and a tenor saxophone in the front line. Is it because the two are not
designed to sound together? If this is the case, this disc offers a nice denial as the
compositions combine the two instruments happily. After a first album,
“Tribulation”, still rough, the quintet co-led by drummer Olivier Robin and the
saxophonist Sébastien Jarrousse delivers a much more controlled second disc, where the passion and
the desire to play does not give in an inch to the requirements of setting up and holding
collective. These five musicians practice a jazz of post-Coltranian obedience, marked by
a certain urgency while being part of writing games in terms of metrics more
contemporary works, which serve as the backbone of an entirely original repertoire. The three
main soloists do more than grab attention, they hold it until the end of
their solos. Whether it is the vibrant viola of Olivier Bogé (visibly aware of what is happening
passes to his New York colleagues), of the valiant tenor of Sébastien Jarrousse (who does not
no lack of soul in the soprano either) or even Emil Spanyi (very different from the
contexts in which it is common to find it), this quintet asserts itself with authority
natural and, among the groups that fuel the flame of pure jazz, stands out as
one of those shock units that we like to listen to live in a club.

Vincent Bessières

The Latest Jazz News, May 22, 2008
*** Olivier Robin / Sébastien Jarrousse Quintet: “Dream time”

Aphrodite Record 2008.
Overall we take the same ones and do (almost) the same thing with (almost) the
same happiness. While “Tribulation”, the previous album of this formidable quintet is
still hot on our turntables, Aphrodite Record offers us a happy sequel with this
“Dream Time” which comes out today. At the start of the album we are immediately seduced
by the coherence and energy of this group which bears the mark of the great formations. Those
in which everyone finds their place in fusion with all the others. However, from the first
piece installed, the seduction of this quintet operates less. We expect compositions to
take us on board, that they leave the format, we wait for the unwise burst, the grain of
madness, the audacity that does not happen. What we didn't notice in the first album was
reveals more here and we believe we are dealing with these big American teams which line up the
sizes with post-Coltranian themes and rich compositions but in which the
pleasure of playing seems to be lost a little.
And yet it comes! Because from the 4th piece (Le Pèlerin de Cadaquès), what happens is
something. Olivier Bogé's interventions are luminous. The boy reissues
moreover on Dream Time. Emil Spanyi, the real source of this album, takes his part on
Calame. Emil Spanyi, this true jazz piano prodigy who always seems to have fun with
his keyboard, don't take things too seriously and throw you a terrible swing
with an innate sense of the blues, a sort of absolutely irresistible Mc Coy Tyner. Then
rhythm under his calls sets in motion and Jarrousse raises his game to the highest in the
movement of the greatest. When we hear Jarrousse on Widow’s bar we know that he has
listened a lot to Coltrane, Michael Brecker or Lovano. In this movement exactly. We
also knows how much Robin and Botta also master their classics. At the end of the album some
more hard bop themes like Duel (we think we hear an audience applauding?) gives this
beautiful training the way to get off one's hinges and to loosen up a little, to get out
shirt and pants, to put on a little looseness just to put things in their place.
Then it all ends with shorterian volutes, ultimate appeasement like a
whispers, just to finish the blow gently.
Jean-Jacques Grabowski, the boss of the label is right to alert us about his group
fetish: from album to album the Jarrousse-Bogé-Spanyi-Robin-Botta quintet imposes itself on the
jazz scene as a reference, as a sure value. A sort of Dream team! Of
the caliber of these rare groups which exist collectively and bring French jazz to life
very beautiful hours. It would be good for the ears of our academicians to focus a little on
their cradle. Because these boys are the bearers of very good news: let us tell each other
jazz still lives!

Jean-Marc Gelin

Jazz Magazine, February 2008
Olivier Robin and Sébastien Jarrousse sign a second album at the head of a group where
each member is a signatory of one or more compositions with complex ingredients and
diversified. Make no mistake: here, we play jazz. Aesthetics, the cult of a
energy anchored in the swing, the richness of the vocabulary lead us to seek very high
in terms of comparisons. Brandford’s “Crazy people music” comes to mind
Marsalis with Kenny Kirkland, “Portable Universel” by Scott Colley and the David association
Binney-Chris Potter. The same search for a unique energy, the same taste for lyricism
distanced. Through each of their solos, for the sake of collective spirit, these young musicians
ignore the compromise, and that's nice. From one piece to another, the climates change, the
intentions are asserted: the verve of Emil Spanyi, the intractable phrasing of Sébastien Jarrousse, the
sharp edge of Olivier Bogé's viola. Olivier Robin and Jean-Daniel Botta feed the machine
in big sound and tempo. The only reservation is ultimately the vain wait for a moment when the
beautiful mechanism would take the time for a real break, or on the contrary would get carried away, at the
risks being imperfect and surprising us. Balanced, but a little dull, the recording
tends to crush very real energy. To listen to on stage!

Eric Quenot, January 26, 2008
Since Van Halen II (1979), if not before, the sophomore curse has set bands' second
albums. After a lifetime of collecting material for the first record, the short calendar for the
follow-up imposes a harsh discipline that is not always friendly to the artist. Well, that might
have been Van Halen's excuse, anyway; in jazz, the same logic doesn't necessarily apply.
This sophomore effort from the quintet led by drummer Olivier Robin and saxophonist
Sébastien Jarrousse exhibits most of the elements that made his debut, Tribulation (Aphrodite,
2006), so sustainable. Chief among these is an expertly played fast and demanding mid-1960s
groove (think Miles' Hancock/Shorter quintet) with slightly outside soloing by five strong
A surprise on Dream Time is what looks like a concerted effort to take on slower tempos and
more tender moods than on the fairly driving Tribulation. Mostly, this strategy yields fine
results, especially bassist Jean-Daniel Botta's “Le Pèlerin de Cadaquès” or the soprano/piano
duet, “Impermanence.”
If there is evidence of the sophomore curse on this record it lies in the cool reserve of the
enigmatic compositions; a tendency present too on Tribulation. The angular tunes are
flawlessly executed and feature sometimes stunningly-arranged ensemble passages, but about
half the time fail to engage the listener.
Paradoxically perhaps, this group nevertheless comes across as warm and approachable.
That's surely down to the empathetic group playing, already present on the earlier record, and
the closely discussed solos—no slacking here.
As was the case on Tribulation, pianist Emil Spanyi emerges as the star of the show—his
symphonic solo on “Calame” and his gentle accompaniment of Jarrousse’s soprano sax on
“Impermanence” are among the highlights. Something about Spanyi's playing is akin to
McCoy Tyner's in the way he fills all the space without getting baroque in the vein of, say, the
late Oscar Peterson. Spanyi can be heard playing a lot of electric keyboards on François
Jeanneau's Weather Report-like When the Birds Sit (Bee Jazz, 2007); clearly he is a
player of great breadth.
Jarrousse has some of the characteristics people associated with Chris Potter: energetic playing
and an apparently bottomless pit of melodic and timbral ideas. If the Robin/Jarroousse quintet
could receive even a tenth of the attention paid to Potter, they would amply deserve it; now if
Dream Time could get a tenth of the attention paid to Van Halen II…
Jeff Dayton-Johnson











A Love Supreme on the Paris Stage
Congolese writer Emmanuel Dongala's novella “A love
supreme” (1982) is the most moving and apposite tribute to the
achievement of John Coltrane, in any medium, that I know. Tea
account of a pair of encounters between a young African
expatriate in New York and John Coltrane, motivated by the
death of the latter in July 1967, exhibits an earnest sincerity
toward the era so touching that it might almost be mistaken for
parody by readers more accustomed to a jaded view of the
1960s. The details of the text's mise en scene — Ornette
Coleman or Imamu Baraka on the phone; a girlfriend's
birth-control pills on the dresser; the narrator faces down on the
steaming pavement, frozen with fear during the Newark riots; has
perhaps unconscious allusion to the first line of Allen Ginsberg's
“Howl” (“I saw the best comrades of my generation
go to sacrifice...“) — evoke the individual exhilaration and
the social exasperation of the era with grace and economy. And
Trane’s music, Trane’s mission, is woven into the fabric of everyone
Now Dongala’s text has been adapted for the stage by director
Luc Clementin. The mission of the Tarmac de la Villette theater
in Paris is to present French-language works by authors outside
of France; the organizers of the nearby Jazz à la Villette festival
(August 30 to September 10) asked the Tarmac to stage this
jazz-themed piece, in tandem with the festival’s programming.
“A Love Supreme” is not an obvious choice for such a
transformation. Clémentin chooses not to depict all the things
that happen in the text — riots, night-club concerts, a funeral,
police violence, and mostly after-hours conversations — but
instead to remain faithful to the character of the novella. For
Dongala’s text is really just someone telling us what he
remembers about John Coltrane, and how he felt about him
death. Accordingly, the Tarmac theater is transformed into an
intimate jazz club; the unnamed narrator — the bartender? tea
owner? — recounts to us, and to the band, the story of his
relationship with “J.C.” French-Ivorian actor Adama Adepoju
plays the narrator; Adepoju is known as a storyteller as well as
an actor, skills well-suited to Clémentin’s presentation of the
Adepoju’s is the only speaking role, but he shares the stage with
a jazz trio: three-fifths, in fact, of the Olivier Robin/Sébastien
Jarrousse Quintet. The performance kicks off with a driving
reading of “Countdown”, from Giant Steps (Atlantic, 1959),
sounding less like Trane’s Atlantic sidemen and more like the
members of the classic quartet (namely, bassist Jimmy Garrison
and drummer Elvin Jones). Jarrousse, on tenor and soprano
sax, merits special commendation for not withering under the
daunting task of standing in for Coltrane. (Not so fortunate was
trumpeter Jonah Jones during a recording of “I Can’t Give You
Anything But Love” with Billie Holiday and Teddy Wilson in
1936. Jones was normally a fine player, but on this track he
clearly could not escape the specter of Louis Armstrong’s
typically definitive solo on an earlier recording of the same
The trio, at intervals, performs a number of signature Coltrane
songs (“In A Sentimental Mood”, “I Want To Talk About You”,
“Lonnie’s Lament”), in between, underneath, and on top of
Adepoju’s soliloquies. Their sprightly “Royal Garden Blues”
(with Jarrousse on soprano) accompanies the particularly lovely
passage in which the narrator talks about his earliest
introduction to jazz. The presence of the trio in the piece
introduces an element of randomness into the play: because of
the role of improvisation, no two nights' performances will be
the same.
Fittingly, the musicians play “Acknowledgement”, from the
album A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964) during the most
thrilling episode, an evocation of Coltrane’s triumphant
performance (“a star that bursts into a thousand small fires, a
thousand small suns”). Ashley Kahn’s book A Love Supreme:
The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album (Viking, 2002)
assure us that while Coltrane only performed the entire Love
Supreme suite once, in Antibes in 1965 after the record’s
release, the band had indeed played parts of it at club dates
prior to recording the album; this historical verification is all I
need to believe that Dongala might have witnessed the scene
that inspired such luminous prose, passionately declaimed by
Adepoju at the Tarmac.
In a final sequence, after J.C.’s death, the narrator muses on the
relationship between the militant politics of the time and
Coltrane’s musical objectives. If he cannot reconcile the two
intellectually, he does so poetically, evoking what the militants
drew from Trane: solace and illumination.
Dongala, who is a professor of chemistry at Simon’s Rock
College in New York, is an increasingly well-known writer in the
US and his more recent work has been translated into English.
No translation of his collection of shorter pieces Jazz et vin de
palme is available, however. Such a translation would be of
special interest to English-speaking jazz fans, as the book
includes “A Love Supreme”, but also the piece that gives the
compilation its title. (“Jazz and Palm Wine” asks two questions.
The first may have occurred to science fiction fans: what if the
hostile aliens had landed in Brazzaville rather than Washington,
D.C. or London? The second has probably never occurred to
anyone: what if those same hostile aliens could be vaporized by
the music of Sun Ra?)
An English-language adaptation of Clémentin’s staging of “A
Love Supreme”, with the ever-changing contribution made by a
succession of different musicians, would undoubtedly be well received
in the US and elsewhere. In the meantime, we can be
grateful to the Tarmac team for their moving tribute and to
Dongala for his irreducible faith in an emblematic artist’s quest.
Jeff Dayton-Johnson

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