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January/February 2008

David Linx & The Brussels Jazz Orchestra
Changing Faces
O+

Never thought I’d be mentioning that pre-Crosby crooner, Rudy Vallee, in this space, but one of the tunes associated with the megaphone meister, “Deep Night,” receives a surprisingly hip, propulsive makeover. It typifies the extremes to be found here. Linx, the Belgian jazz singer, will resort to any idiom, any language, any time signature. Occasionally he seems to dispense with bar lines altogether, or he will go beyond lyrics, as he abandons his own words on “A Day’s Journey,” for some free-wheeling scat. “Home, In the Spring” features Linx and the wordless Natalie Dessay in a wistful duet. While he strains for falsetto, she leaps octaves effortlessly. The most impressive tour de force is “The Land of Joy,” in which Linx resorts to jet-speed unison scat with pianist Nathalie Loriers. Linx wrote some of the tunes, which compete quite well against entries by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joni Mitchell. He can do it all, at the highest level of professionalism, like the superb Brussels Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece band, used to the coloristic effects that accrue from their apparently endless doublings.

Originally published in January/February 2008
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