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As we edge closer to the end of 2021, jazz fans around the world seem to crave that ‘live’ experience more and more.

Renowned French bassist Theo Girard captures the mood perfectly with ‘Pensées Rotatives(Nov 5th) – a joyful, optimistic and colourful album recorded in front of a live audience at the 2019 Jazz Sous Les Pommiers festival in Coutances.

The thoughtful bandleader brings together ideas, motifs and musicians from his 20 year career into a masterful outing which showcases the excitement and energy of this group.

At the core, alongside Girard, is long-time collaborator Sebastian Rochford (UK) on drums and trumpeter Antoine Berjeaut (FR). Around them – both figuratively and, on live shows, literally – is a ‘crown’ of 12 horn players, many of whom have featured alongside the bassist in various constellations over the last 20 years.

Gently dancing between sensitivity and intensity, Pensées Rotatives presents a real meeting of minds between friends old and new in the form of an impressive collection of improvisers.

Surprisingly for a recording of all original music, it could well be described as a cover album: each track takes one of Girard’s previous tunes before twisting, turning and expanding it for this 15-piece line up.

The horn section (4 altos, 4 tenors & 4 trumpets) are, at times, used as a single instrument. At others, they are splintered into individual personalities which each bring their own unique sound and timbre to the pieces.

Above all, though, Pensées Rotatives is a lively reminder of what it was like to be in a room full of people experiencing the excitement of live music.

Stream the album: Here