Review: "The dampness of the rainforest, the hostility of the mangrove ultimately did not suit him. So he left his natural environment for the tranquillity of a freshwater body". So goes the (translated) back story of this new EP from Laurent Bardainne. The 'he' in question is a Tiger who ventured across Europe, Asia and America and apparently picked up various musical styles along the way. Whatever you make of that, the tracks here are gold: "Marvin" is smooth jazz fusion with percolating drums, "Porsche 944" has a joyous lead sax and more crisp boom bap drums, while "Aout" is a soaring bit of heartfelt soul Daptone might put out. The Drop Vibes rework of "Porsche 944" features a vocal roller and closes things in fine fashion.
Review: Last year, saxophonist Laurent Bardainneunveiled his first work with four-piece band Tigre D'Eau Douce, an EP of contemporary jazz and soul-jazz mutations on Heavenly Sweetness called "Marvin". This fine debut album builds on those rock-solid foundations, offering up a 12-track set in which Bardainne's headline-grabbing sax solos rise above bustling backing tracks that variously touch on jazz-funk, atmospheric 1960s film soundtracks, trad jazz, soul-jazz and wonderfully loose-limbed dancefloor jazz. It's a combination that consistently hits the spot, with evocative closing cut "Star Five", featuring a Gil-Scott Heron-esque spoken word vocal by Anthony Joseph, amongst the many highlights.