Tumble Home - Tumble Home

Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: CDTH01
Format: CD
Total Time: 32:36:00

Tumble Home are a French jazz-fusion ensemble that like Trespass (also reviewed this month) are much better as an all instrumental group, though unlike Trespass, they are a mostly instrumental group. I am not surprised by this - their style - as I had listened to a couple of MP3s a bit before the CD arrived. Philippe Ammeloot can be a ferocious guitarist, as evidenced by the searing, acidic leads he plays on the opening track "Citizen Clone." It is here in this track that we first hear the warm trumpet courtesy of Remy Parisis. Here and on the groovy track that follows, "French Postman," the quartet are their best. Along with Ammeloot (who also plays bass) and Parisis (also on bugle), Tumble Home are Onno Ottevanger on piano and vocals (the former a joy to hear) and François Moreau on drums and percussion. These first two tracks show a tight unit. While guitar and trumpet seem to be most often in the lead, Ottevanger's piano starts out the moody "Tumble Home," which reminds me at first of something from David Benoit -- light piano notes, almost lullabyish,. But it doesn't stay there, soon shifting into something a little "loungey" without being kitschy. This is one of those dimly lit lounges where wine red is the dominant color.

"Huis Clos" is, like "French Postman" a funky jazz piece with bursts of keys over some crisp percussion. I like the leisurely and throbbing bass lines here that are soon joined by a musing trumpet. Here it at first brings Davis to mind, but as the notes become brassier, Herb Alpert ("Lonely Bull" kept popping into my head). When it "speaks" a little more, it seems out of place, awkward, however. At the 4:30 mark or, is eases off into a sleepy rhythm. This sleepy moodiness continues with "The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter" which at first seemed out of step to me, where the piano played against rhythm rather than with? which some times can work. It's only a additional listens, and maybe with different balance settings, that it does seem to click. The bass throbs simply, lazily, slightly out of phase, however. Oddly, as far the vocals, I think of an accented Kermit the Frog -- well, other than the use of the phrase "fuck up," of course. Yes, I'd say the voice sounds a bit like Jim Henson. Not the effect I'm sure was intended.

"Judy Two" begins with a jaunty rhythm and nice piano phrase but then seems to lose focus, becomes a little too chaotic. Maybe it's because the other pieces had a sense of flow that this seems out of step. But before you think it's going to be an avant-garde piece (a la French TV, say), it morphs into a vocal track sung-spoken, making me think of Lou Reed, though I would say Ottevanger sounds like Reed.

While the first three tracks are the band's strongest, they intersperse three vignettes into the mix, two of which seem out of place, the third needing to be developed a little more, maybe into a full length piece. The first of these, "La Mardite," begins (you think it's a beginning) with keyboard washes that hang in the air. But it ends up going nowhere. The track doesn't last long enough to make a statement. "Idem And Rye" begins with a chiming pattern that seems on the verge of going somewhere, but doesn't, just repeats with only a slight shift. It does build tension as you anxiously awaiting something that doesn't come. "The Process" has loaping rhythm with what sounds like congas and snickering percussion over atmospheric guitar - the guitar is maybe too subtle.

Overall, Tumble Home's debut is a good. Not that Ottevanger is a bad singer, though honestly he speaks more than sings, but they might want to consider either a full time singer, or become an all instrumental outfit. He does seem to be over enunciating, rounding his speech - something I've heard English actors do when they are playing Americans? Anyway, that aside, I did enjoy listening to Tumble Home for the most part.

Citizen Clone (5:45) / French Postman (4:54) / Tumble Home (3:01) / La Mardite (1:19) / Huis Clos (6:24) / The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter (4:37) / Idem And Rye (2:14) / Judy Two (4:19) / The Process (1:23)

Onno Ottevanger - piano, vocals Remy Parisis - trumpet, bugle François Moreau - drums and percussion Philippe Ammeloot - guitars and bass

Tumble Home (2002)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin FR

Added: March 2nd 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.philammeloot.com
Hits: 1088
Language: english


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