Lucky People, the roughly elegant first album from Moutin Factory Quintet, makes a number of good choices. In several places, for instance, the French band—alto and sopranino saxophonist Christophe Monniot, guitarist Emmanuel Codjia, pianist Thomas Enhco and co-leaders/twin brothers François Moutin (acoustic bass) and Louis Moutin (drums)—borrows from rock music. That’s a wise decision; jazz sounds great when it’s heavy. The title track, by Louis, has a section that’s big and wild, with squiggly saxophone, abrasive guitar and bashing drums. “Relativity,” by François—save for a medley of Ornette Coleman tunes, all of the pieces here are by the bros—opens with free sax and features dark, gloomy riffing. And “Conflict,” as its name suggests, flaunts aggression.
Another nice choice is the pairing of the Moutins: It’s difficult to imagine an unrewarding group with these two underneath. They’re so good together, in fact, that they don’t need anyone else. The aforementioned Ornette medley is performed by the brothers alone, and it’s a fun, frisky way to break up the album. It’s also one of the album’s highlights.
Louis’ decisions are to be applauded too. His bold, swaggering funk groove during the last 30 seconds of “Dragonfly,” and the depth of his pocket at 5:35 in “Relativity,” are a couple of examples.
One final good decision: Allowing Codjia to come up with a solo guitar intro to “You’ll Be Fine.” It’s ethereal, sad, soothing and more about skill than luck.