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may 2011
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Crazy Frenchmen!

The "Lebocal Collective": Sensational! If there were a prize for the craziest project this Spring, the "LeBocal Collective" would surely win it.

What these 15 Frenchmen offered to around 100 spectators gathered in a small town theatre was a show that isn't seen every day, not even every year. This troop goes all out like no-one else. These are not jazz-(gentle)men all prim and proper up there on the stage, but rather anti-conformists dressed in leather, artist's capes and caps. And the craziest of all is that you can hear it! Mixed up in the magical melting pot of sounds, for the most part written by Thierry Girault (piano), or borrowed from the rich heritage of Frank Zappa, the songs get stronger by the minute, projected through improvisations and spontaneous sound painting.
It is a matter of a quasi-collective quest for rythms and melodies and the goal is always achieved.
While most of the songs come from the rock world, others nonetheless have touches of blues or soul. In order to do this, the band mixes about 90 years of big-band history. They do it nonetheless in their own style, aiming for irony and mockery, spirit and anarchy, comedy and light heartedness.
All of this with an impress display of energy. And concerning pleasure, they transmit it literally onto the audience. We smile or laugh incessantly.
Certain characters dominate the group. It is the case for Girault, on keyboards, who mixes electronic sounds in an extremely refined manner.
The same goes for the black singer, Ernie Odoom, who doesn't so much sing but gives some fascinating recitals.
The solos given by guitarist Cyril Moulas and the tenor saxophonist Guillaume Perret are fantastic. Others are less convincing - the only low note of the evening. In conclusion: by combining jazz of an excellent quality with a remarkable sense of humour, this contemporary big band succeeds in truly exhilarating us and to make us keep asking for more!

May 2011-;art2746,963020 Kempten (Klaus-Peter Mayr) 04.05.2011