A Fantastic Evening.
The French Big-Band, The "LeBocal" Collective, filled the Dornbirn Cultural Centre with enthusiasm at their concert, which was unfortunately rather moderately attended.
Right from the very first piece, "Oranienstrasse, ("An Orange Street"), a composition by the pianist Thierry Girault, it was obvious that this evening at the Cultural Centre was in line for being hailed as one of excellence.
During the somewhat free introduction, Ernie Odoom - black voice, light skin - developed some interesting melodic lines aimed at dominating the sounds that the saxophonist Guillaume Perret was creating with his sophisticated effects pedals.
An Unusual Ease
Then the members of the group started up. one after the other. After a frenzied guitar riff by Cyril Moulas it's Odoom who pounds out with his powerful voice, gifted with a range allowing him to surprise with incredible high jumps and long notes: excellent mastery of sound and perfect rhythm!
Behind the scenes the horns played tense, interspersed motifs with almost bewildering ease.
But this was just a taste of the more complex musical structures which were yet to come during the concert.
The first set was dedicated mainly - except "Oranienstrasse" which we already mentioned - to a repertoire of sophisticated arrangements of compositions by Frank Zappa.
This was the case, with numbers like "King Kong", "Little Umbrellas", "The Idiot Bastard Son" and "Mr. Green Genes" - A top class repertoire allowing the 15 excellent musicians to show some remarkable soloing. From then on the applause became more and more enthusiastic.
In the second set, personal compositions took the place of honour. With "All of My Friends", Moulas revealed himself as being a true guitar virtuoso.
During his long solo his fingers literally ran across the fret board. Following this, it was the turn of the Big Band to jump in.
Thierry Girault at the grand piano graced us, during his interpretation of "Breathe Together", with a solo of great delicacy and sensitivity, proof of his poetic talent.
Finally, as he was preparing himself to sing "Grave Grouve", Odoom conveyed his thanks to the audience for this fantastic moment spent in Spielboden, pointing out that it was important to pay a great deal of attention to the soft harmonies of the next song... before adding: "Just kidding!". The last song was in fact 100% funky!
The final bow. The shouts rose up calling for more, which was naturally granted by these congenial musicians. And finally after a medley comprising "Zoot Allures" and "Cosmik Debris" by Zappa the audience left into the May night.
Peter Bader - Neue Vorarlberger
Tageszeitung - May 2011.