Le Boeuf Brothers – In Praise Of Shadows (2011)

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photo: Adria Le Boeuf

The Le Boeuf Brothers, like many of the younger jazz musicians today, crave bashing up jazz of their formal training with the Bjork, Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens of their iPod playlists. And as I’ve come to realize, this often has great results. But these identical twins, Romy (reeds) and Pascal (piano, keyboards and occasional vocals) are determined to do even more than that on their second album, In Praise Of Shadows. They compose organically and re-compose the songs further technologically, using sampling, loops and other electronic processing. The resulting music often ends up residing prominently in both worlds. Even within a third world, chamber music, with the addition of the Myth String Quartet for some tracks. Sometimes the hybrids don’t fully gel, and other times they knock it right out of the park (“Two Worlds,” “D2D” and “Circles,” for instance). However, they consistently strive hard for originality that spring from familiar touchstones and present a different set of ideas with each song. It’s also well performed: joining the talented brothers are Linda Oh (bass), Nir Felder (guitar), Mike Ruby (tenor sax), and Henry Cole (drums). All of which makes In Praise Of Shadows a strong indicator that the Le Boeuf Brothers are well on their way to something special.

In Praise Of Shadows went on sale October 18, by Nineteen-Eight Records. Visit the Le Boeuf Brothers’ website.

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‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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