Sébastien LLADO quartet
Photo Christian DUCASSE
TO LISTEN TO "AVEC DEUX AILES"
Aged only 36, as this disc bears witness, Sébastien Llado has established himself as one of the major acts on the French Jazz Scene. After having founded Spice Bones–an alternative, jazz rock group, oozing with
testosterone, awarded a gong at the Jazz à la Défense Festival
in 1999–the French trombonist has worked mostly as a sideman,
a soloist in Claude Barthélémy’s Orchestre National de Jazz from 2002-2005, he has played a major role in numerous different projects on the French Jazz Scene, notably alongside Médéric Collignon, Manu Codija,
and “Magic” Malik.
If Sébastien is a sought after trombonist, it is also because he presents himself as a musician who plays all kinds of music: playing with
The Four Tops and The Temptations, Lenny Kravitz, Hocus Pocus
and Sebastien Tellier as well as on New Soul, Yael Naim’s 2007 hit.
As a band leader, for ten years now, he has toured with both his own quartet1 and trio Tryo[ut]2, and more recently with his solo project
entitled “Machination!” which brings together tribal instruments (conches and other shells) and machines (effect pedals, loops and samples).
I can’t remember how Sebastien and I met. Probably when he played
at a jazz club with his quartet. What I do remember is an artist blessed with a sensitive world, a virtuoso trombonist and a stage presence tinged with bags of humour and good vibes, a composer who can conjure up melodies that cut to the chase and a musician that blends well-known influences (Michael Jackson) with lesser known sources of inspiration (Wolfgang Dauner) in a wide-ranging style. A style that bridges the gap between his daily life and his instrument: he studies at the Berklee School under Phil Wilson, J. J. Johnson and Hal Crook and his mentors
Albert Mangelsdorff, Steve Turre–who taught him to play the shells–
and Frank Rosolino, whom he considers as “the absolute master
of the instrument”.
On hold, due to the eternal quandary of the CD crisis, for a long time
he wondered, as a jazz musician, whether there was any point on his website which has become the principal means of promoting his music.
But as time went on, the crucial need for the artist to record his work in a tangible format pushed him to do it–and so much the better.
So when Gérard Terronès offered to record his quartet at the Sunside, a major jazz venue in Paris, Sébastien accepted. The challenge, however, was no mean feat:
the recording had to be done live and in one take. On the night of the concert,
the venue was packed: the quartet was pumped with adrenalin. Highly inspired
and enthusiastic, the pianist Leila Olivesi, who was then eight months pregnant, literally surpassed herself that night. Bruno Schorp, a young, original double bassist sought after for the precision of his tuning and Julie Saury, drummer with the quartet since it started up, developed a dynamic rhythmic base. Supported and encouraged by his quartet, Sébastien Llado stepped up to the plate and delivered an inspiring, uplifting display charged with emotion and flights of poetic fancy.
1. His quartet was awarded a prize at Jazz à la Défense, Paris, 2001.
2. With Didier Ithursarry on accordeon and Laurent David on acoustic bass.