Saloua is a big, heavy snake of an album; a salmagundi of fusion that hits more often than it misses. Trumpeter Erik Truffaz’s willingness to take chances recalls late-era Miles Davis, who’s explicitly referenced on “Tantrik,” a funk-drenched wailing echo of a track. It’s not hard to imagine Davis approving of Truffaz’s wide path of exploration. Rapping from Swiss MC Nya, beautiful maluf-like vocal work from Tunisian singer Mounir Troudi and vicious rock guitar by longtime accompanist Manu Codjia give Saloua its shape, but it’s the grooving bass and the echoing resonance of dub reggae production that buoys this dense and occasionally difficult work.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.