I received my cd of the Renaud Louis-Servais Group’s new album “Epic Circus” in the mail yesterday and treated myself to two full hearings this morning. It was a real treat! It is fine jazz fusion played by a top level crew of musicians [Renaud Louis-Servais, guitars; Henri Dorina, bass; Aurel Ouzoulias and Virgil Donati, drums; Christophe Cravero and Philippe Saisse, keyboard].
A gentle entry leads into “Carry’n” which begins the excitement with Renaud’s incisive guitar work providing the colorful and assured brushstrokes that give the music its primary colors.
I can’t give you a favorite track. They are all wonderful. Also, the album is carefully constructed (I think) like a tapestry; and, as with a rich tapestry, one cannot really say, “Oh, I like that corner, that little spot over there…”. Nonetheless, I will say that on both hearings I found myself exclaiming out loud at “When You’ve Got Nothing” and that the “Long Breath” in the midst of such thrilling music was very cool. But, no…Carry’n, Freedom, Zaku Patatu (composed by Philippe Saisse), Epic Circus, Techno City, and All Minor Blues…There is no way to choose a favorite track…and no reason! (There is not a weak track among them.) The album ends with thoughtful acoustic guitar in “The Beauty of Life”.
Renaud Louis-Servais is clearly a gifted composer as well as a great guitarist. He and his group of world-class musicians have produced a classic jazz fusion album that, in my opinion, will live on as such.
The album has been at the top of progressive/fusion charts and has received some very good reviews, for example: