CD review: Celine Bonancina Trio

open heartOpen Heart
(ACT 9514-2)

A whole album of a baritone saxophone, bass and drums trio might sound a little strenuous but that would be to bargain without the variation that the young Frenchwoman brings to her music – mixing in funk, rock and song in her compositions, always soloing with strong accent on melody – and to the inclusion of other friends as well.

Celine Bonancina

Celine Bonancina

So although the core band might be Bonancina on baritone, not only singly but also in overdubbed sections, plus some soprano and alto too, Kevnin Reveyrand on electric bass and Hary Ratsimbazafy on drums, but there is also Himiko Paganotti on vocals, Pascal Schumacher on vibraphone and glockenspiel, and the great Mino Cinelu on percussion.

Circle Dance has a tasty vocal riff and Wild World has massed baris with a whole carpet of percussion. So Close So Far is a pretty song with lyrics by Paganotti and a bed of vibes and bass, the leader and singer taking turns with the melody line and then shadowing each other in unison.

Watch Your Step, written by Reveyrand, adds the bari to the bass line before Bonancina heads off on the loveliest tune against bass chords, then multiplies into a section before handing the improv duties to the composer.

Altogether a charming, friendly and accessible album, living up fully to its title.

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