Jean-Pierre Mas: (H)ombre

Surrender to the middlebrow world music-jazz melange of Jean-Pierre Mas’ (H)ombre (Sunnyside) and a relaxing weekend afternoon is practically assured. Pianist (actually multi-instrumentalist) and composer Mas has a taste for light jazz, French bistro strains, tango, bossa nova and mildly exotic rhythms among other de rigueur musical leanings. He also has good connections; adding touches of class are violinist Didier Lockwood and harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans. Nothing ever really forces its way into the foreground, but as an exercise in continental/tropical atmosphere, the album maintains its hypnotic hold. But then again, so does a middle-of-the-night TV infomercial.