It's no secret that Butcher Brown gets love around here. The relative quiet around the release of their new album Virginia Noir needs to be remedied, since this might well be the quartet's best release yet. The band has continued to grow with time as well as through its many collaborations (maybe you caught them on Nicholas Payton's Numbers) and side projects (see Corey Fonville playing with Christian Scott, among others, and DJ Harrison's many solo releases, to name a few). On Virginia Noir, they've gravitated toward strong, funky grooves and relatively minimal solos from the band members.
Aaron Parks is an altogether beautiful person, as if his aura just colors whatever he touches, particularly pianos. Billy Hart is a legend and a giant and gets to do whatever the hell he wants on the drums. Ben Street is an anchor and a pure soul able to keep the three aligned on the bass. The trio were absolutely outstanding playing one of the last sets of the festival on Saturday, July 9 at Le Gesù presenting new material Parks is set to release some time next year on ECM.
Erik Truffaz is 56 years old. He plays the trumpet. He's on Blue Note… France. He's not hyped in the United States much. I only knew of him from copping his 2000 album, The Mask, from fellow KRTU radio host J.C. Pagan after he found the album while shopping in Brazil (if memory serves). The guy is a big deal, but one of those big deals that literally doesn't in America. It should, because if his Friday, July 8th performance at the Monument National is any proof, Truffaz' quartet is one of the most forward thinking groups in jazz today.