The French Fusion: Grand Grand Trio

The French Fusion: Grand Grand Trio

Adriana SaboTuesday,23 September 2014

The Snap: 

When one says fusion, what could one mean? A blend of this and that, a mix, a musical style that represents a way for different genres to communicate? Well, yes, all of the above. So, when you hear the music by the French band Grand Grand Trio, you will experience that unique a-ha! moment and say “Yes, this is how jazz, rock and experimental music can coexist.” Grand Grand Trio is, in their own words “a mobile army unit, organized and free from all liability.” They mix the sound of raw guitars with a jazz-like improvisation and an occasional pop melody. They make music that is unexpected and full of surprises, twists and turns. They are Bruno Ducret (guitar, vocals), Charles Huck (bass) and Valentin Jam (drums). They just self released a self titled EP.

The Download: 

Grand Grand Trio owes a lot of their musical expression to the tradition of (free) jazz. You will not hear the traditional form comprised of a verse and chorus, nor will you find the theme – improvisation structure of jazz standards. Every track seems to be played in one breath, with every different musical segment following the previous one perfectly logically. They steer clear of repetition, preferring to develop the initial idea more and more as the track goes on — just like jazz teaches us. This structure is filled with raw, sometimes even aggressive guitars, energetic beats, and running bass lines, but also — depending on the use of effects — with easy melodies unmistakably linked to the, already so many times mentioned, free jazz improvisation.

The Grand Grand Trio EP has five tracks, each one a bit different and a bit alike. “Hero,” the opening one, is my favorite and, I dare say, the most schizophrenic one. It begins with a brilliant, jumpy bass, joined by the percussion and the guitar. After the initial punk burst, guitar turns to improvisation, opening a contrasting section that unfolds over the bass line from the beginning, the line that is the connective tissue of the whole track. This segment is followed by another “punkishly” raw section. The coarse sound remains the main feature of the rest of the tracks. “Mountain” is dark and raw, an experiment in the possibilities offered by the sound of the traditional guitar-bass-drums trio, enhanced by the strange sound of the vocals. “Athens” introduces the soft sound of the jazz guitar again, that disintegrates once more into the experimental rock, combined with the flowing, syncopated beat of the drums. Like the previous songs, “La Giraffe” and “SHESHE” also bring about this play with contrasts and different genres, combined seamlessly into one piece. “SHESHE” also introduces some funky beats, completing the album with a fantastic groove.

This EP, thus, opens up a chapter in the career of the band, presenting them to the (unsuspecting) audience as musicians who enjoy experimenting and playing together, putting things together and taking them apart again, waning to find out how things really work and what happens when you patch up different musical genres. This is, just the beginning of a hopefully long line of musical experiments.


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Hat Tips:

The Equal Ground, Facebook, Bandcamp, Image Credit: Flickr

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