Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Grégoire Maret: Grégoire Maret

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Harmonica player Grégoire Maret’s self-titled leader debut couldn’t have featured any other instrument. It’s full of delicate arrangements that a more powerful ax would crush. Ironically, the harmonica is the album’s major problem. Specifically, Maret’s off-putting sound-thin, reedy and, with his predilection for the high register, shrill-seriously handicaps some otherwise fine music.

And the music is otherwise fine: postbop generously endowed with samba and soul. This material is played by a stellar cast of musicians, the core being bassist James Genus, keyboardist Frederico G. Peña and drummers Clarence Penn and Jeff “Tain” Watts. (Peña is the most consistently excellent, imbuing tunes like “Travels” and “Prayer” with a longing tenderness.) Guest stars shine, too. Cassandra Wilson is subtly profound on “The Man I Love,” and Marcus Miller’s funky fretless bass enlivens “Crepuscule Suite.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published