In this day and age, rare is the impression of the ‘never-heard-of’, when styles and rhythms abandon themselves wholeheartedly in an orgiastic mechanism. Alt-J spring to mind, crashing into our lives with their impressive waves that left us all flabbergasted – and still do – with their visionary arrangements and clever taste for reinvention. It’s a savvy never-ending mix of genres, a hullabaloo of intensely exhilarating, viral and sharp sonorities, which formed one of this century’s most interesting bands. But as a miracle never happens on its own, still on English soil – once again – Adult Jazz stand out from the crowd with their typically French-sounding, slightly pompous name, laying bare as many influences as the Bristol triangle. A while ago, they released their beautiful double A-side “Am Gone / Springful” on the very independent Spare Thought label, and shone on the already inextricable mysteries of jazz. It’s therefore with unconditional pleasure that we welcome the masterpiece “Gist Is”, a first album of overflowing inventiveness, of radiant elegance, of incredible charm that verges on demagoguery.
Caught somewhere between folk, blues, jazz – and many other genres we never suspected existed – Adult Jazz’s music associates as much as it dissociates. As the tracks play on, it acquires a tumultuous resonance, a wonky crescendo that ceaselessly surprises. Right when you feel like everything is tumbling down, everything rises as quickly as those little figurines, deformed and tired, you straighten up with a touch of your finger. Their intelligence is found in their novel wish to create, and then dispose of their notes, brief and simple, in the service of musical temporality. Their music cannot be played, it must be thought-out, just like jazz. They advocate for incongruous sequences, abusive effervescence. We hear falsely handicapped music, as if in rehab. Harry’s voice is its conductor, it launches into the high notes, often merges with the noise to disrupt the classical nuances. The band recycles, transmutes instruments. Panicked guitars, scattered percussions, a trombone, the clapping of hands, a saxophone, metallic sounds, everything is turned upside down. Their world may be impermeable and slightly rugged, but taming it will only serve to elevate their most beautiful tenderness.
Website of the band: adultjazz.bandcamp.com