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Erik Truffaz: Mantis

French trumpeter Erik Truffaz is one of a handful of creative upstarts like Nils Petter Molv’r, Russell Gunn and Tim Hagans who are embracing electronics, via drum ‘n’ bass, and jazz. On his third U.S. release for Blue Note, Truffaz continues melding his bold tones and melodic ingenuity to the fusiony fray with some obvious nods to electric Miles Davis and world beat in the process.

The trumpeter is at the helm of a crack outfit here that is grounded by the booming, woody-toned upright bass of Michel Benita, who is prominently featured on the melancholy ballad “La Memoire du Silence,” and the remarkably athletic yet precise and flexible drumming of Phillippe Garcia. Guitarist Manu Codjia kicks in some ferocious fretboard flights that combine the sly, jazzy seasoning of John Scofield, the fierce abandon of Jean-Paul Bourelly and the mind-boggling legato flow of Allan Holdsworth along with the sheer freak-out quotient of Sonny Sharrock. Codjia’s take-no-prisoners approach on two powerful tracks, “The Point” and “Saisir,” earns him honorary guitar-hero status in my book.

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