"What constitutes a love of Jazz? Beauty, feeling, nostalgia, excitement, youth, revolt, - all that, for sure. But first and foremost, a liking for untrodden paths, a real desire for new, unexpected sounds." Philippe Carles and Jean Louis Comolli
Composing plus his meeting with two American jazzmen, Joe Martin on double bass and Gerald Cleaver on drums, have been a catharsis for Raphael Imbert, transforming his vision of jazz by injecting new inspiration into his relationship with its history and imagination.
Fired by his highly individual approach based on the spiritual element of jazz, Raphaël Imbert left for the jazz Mecca, "the Big Apple": New York, where he made contact with eye witnesses and archives of the exceptional historical enterprise undertaken by the Afro-American community. From the plantations to the churches where Gospel songs supplanted Lutheran canticles to lead the faithful to a state of trance, via initiation societies such as those to which Louis Amstrong and Duke Ellington belonged, the Afro-Americans chose music as an "esoteric strike force" to assert their identity.
During his New York visit in 2004, Raphaël Imbert came face to face with some of the core values of our modern society, efficiency, marketing and more... and was left wondering where he could find that true creative freedom that marks the playing of the elders of Jazz, that time of absolutes and mysticism personfied by Coltrane, Ayler, Pharoah Sanders? Since Raphaël Imbert returned to Marseille, he has been working on building up his own universe, delving into his own inner resources, looking to initiate non-European encounters, such as that with South African saxophonist Zim Nqgnawana¡¡ or the Chemirani and their Sufi traditions... - "the liking for untrodden paths".
This American CD is a manifesto of that committed jazz, the hallmark of the true jazzman's quest for sense: from the drums of Ellington's Harlem to his evocation of John Zorn leader of the New York underground, via The Cloisters, a tribute to Albert Ayler, the pulse and throb of New York, to a meditation of Coltrane on Central Park West.