Streaming This Week: Le Boeuf Brothers’ ‘In Praise of Shadows’

The Le Boeuf Brothers, Pascal and Remy Le Boeuf, know what they are doing when they compose. A lengthy list of prizes will attest to the fact; they have received prizes from Downbeat Magazine, Independent Music Awards, ASCAP Young Composer Awards, and so on. And the question of creative process in jazz is one that is rooted in a centenary history. But the fact is that the Le Boeuf Brothers are of a young generation of fresh minds and new ideas, and cannot simply be labeled as jazz and ascribed to its creative traditions and histories. This might explain why their upcoming album, In Praise of Shadows, has such a fresh taste to it.

Their past few albums were each played with very different bands, and this album is no exception. Alongside the brothers, this album features Mike Ruby on tenor saxophone, Nir Felder on guitar, Linda Oh on bass, Henry Cole on drums, and the Myth String Quartet, adding an interesting twist, a pull between improvised music and written music.

This album is a major step in the brothers’ creative career. It sets forth an aesthetic that is mellow, but with the upbeat feel of the mind-itching time signatures, driving bass lines and rhythms, and of the eclectic and explosive orchestration of past albums. The album brings together a moment in the lives of the brothers in which they are experimenting with different styles of music. Amongst the cited influences are Radiohead, Aphex Twin, and Telefon Tel Aviv. The album can be labeled as jazz, but the brothers have said they expect to surprise listeners who label. Keep an open mind.

All this sort of textural and aesthetic awareness makes it so that though the music may sometimes be complex and intellectually stimulating, the album remains digestible to all audiences who might not be familiar with jazz. This album brings together the best of many worlds. And Nextbop is about going past musical limits, particularly when speaking about genre. Nextbop is about getting jazz out to new audiences. That is why we are proud to let you listen to In Praise of Shadows by the Le Boeuf Brothers a couple of weeks before the official release on the 18th of October 2011 on Nineteen-Eight Records.

Marc Antunes is a student at New York University. He writes about jazz, musicology, and sociology.

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Tour Dates
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 @ Jimmy Mak’s, Portland, OR (United States)
Wednesday, October 5, 2011 @ Egan’s Ballard Jam House Seattle, WA (United States)
Thursday, October 6, 2011 @ The Cellar Restaurant / Jazz Club, Vancouver, BC (Canada)
Saturday, October 8, 2011 @ Beat Niq Jazz & Social Club, Calgary, AB (Canada)
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 @ The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, Toronto, ON (Canada)
Thursday, October 13, 2011 @ The Rex Hotel Jazz & Blues Bar, Toronto, ON (Canada)
Friday, October 14, 2011 @ Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, Montreal, QC (Canada)
Saturday, October 15, 2011 @ Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, Montreal, QC (Canada)
Monday, October 17, 2011 @ Cafe Paradiso, Ottawa, ON (Canada)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011 @ Java’s Cafe, Rochester, NY (United States)
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 @ Bistro 135, East Rochester, NY (United States)
Sunday, October 23, 2011 @ Joes Pub, New York, NY (United States)
Saturday, November 12, 2011 @ Sycamore, Brooklyn, NY (United States)
Friday, December 23, 2011 @ Don Quixote’s, Felton, CA (United States)