Prysm-second_rhythm_span3
December 1999

Prysm
Second Rhythm
Blue Note Records

Second Rhythm is the U.S. debut album that introduces us to a remarkable French trio comprised of pianist Pierre De Bethmann, bassist Christophe Wallemme, and drummer Benjamin Henocq. All three contribute some finely etched compositions that are marked by idyllic melodies and fiery rhythms. The members also display exemplary technique as they execute all the compositions with stunning crispness. De Bethmann's impressionistic pianism is the main voice, but both Henocq and Wallemme contribute greatly to the high degree of group empathy. The trio is firmly rooted in bebop idiom, but songs like the wistful "The Stonecutter" and the haunting, "False Roots" betray their French classical lineage. The unfailing precision of the trio sometimes makes the music sound a bit too antiseptic for it's own good, but luckily Prysm have a wide enough emotional palette, sheer sense of swing, and rhythmic variation to lure you with each composition.

Originally published in December 1999
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