In 1928 French classical composer Maurice Ravel said: “You Americans take jazz too lightly. You seem to see it as a music of little value, vulgar and ephemeral. In my point of view, it is jazz that will give rise to the national music of the United States.” Fittingly, almost 90 years later, American trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle and French pianist and composer Frank Woeste, both well-respected jazz musicians, have teamed up with French cellist Vincent Courtois and drummer and percussionist Jeff Ballard to bring us Reverso: Suite Ravel, an opus inspired by Ravel’s “Le tombeau de Couperin”, bridging the gap between modern jazz music and classical chamber music.
Ryan Keberle and Frank Woeste met in 2015 while recording with acclaimed trumpeter and composer, Dave Douglas, where it became obvious that they had much in common musically. Bridging the Atlantic through support from a French American Jazz Exchange grant, Woeste and Keberle’s Reverso: Suite Ravel explores the classic six movement French Baroque suite working with the characteristic movements of the Prelude, Fugue, Forlane, Rigaudon, Menuet, and Toccata, re-defining these movements within their own unique compositional languages while sometimes incorporating Ravel’s original melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic material.
Reverso: Suite Ravel is set to release in North America February 9th via PhonoArt/Alternate Side Records. You can watch the EPK below as well as preview the album via Bandcamp.
Sébastien Hélary co-founded Nextbop in 2009 with the objective of introducing modern jazz music to a younger generation of fans. Aside from music, his other main obsession is food, particularly ramen and other Japanese delicacies.