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An intimate series of songs written in the turbulent Washington Heights night, using the neighbor’s piano. Striving to craft words and music with equal care, Turn The Sun To Green draws its title from the song Colors : Like the sun that turns the sun to green / May this moment be the seed for colors yet unseen / For words to speak, and later sing. Surrounded by a steadfast band with Laurent Coq on piano and Des White on bass, Guilhem Flouzat brings in the versatile Ralph Lavital on guitar, and offers the introspection of a young man, as sung by a woman. Isabel Sorling makes every story her own and asks on Thirty One: Who’s to say that age can find my hiding place / Spoil the taste for wasting time on my own ? In turn joyful, somber or sensual, the album is recorded live in one day.
This trio started with sessions at Manhattan School, for which Guilhem learned the lyrics to lesser known standards. Later came the idea to make an album out of it. There was a leisurely afternoon before the recording picking tunes and checking out versions, a homecooked dinner and casual conversation. The next day Flouzat, Sullivan Fortner and Desmond White met at Bunker studios and took turns calling tunes from a list, suggesting arrangements in the spur of the moment, rarely doing more than two takes. As Thomas Conrad from JazzTimes put it, “unsentimental expressions of actual happiness never go out of style”, and the album received raving reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, before touring France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
CHOC Jazz Magazine, INDISPENSABLE JazzNews, TTT Télérama, disque du jour TSF, TOP Musique et culture, Best of 2017 KCRW
The opening composition, Ben’s Song aims at conveying the urgency and infectious lyricism of Ben Wendel, who was already present on Flouzat’s previous album. In Where We Should Go, the subtle portrayal of a newborn love, vocalist Becca Stevens delivers a stunning performance on lyrics written by the leader himself. Underachiever is a gently ironic nod to young lion Adam Larson, an odd meter tour de force morphing into a hypnotic trio tune. At This Juncture In Time uses the haiku metric form, contrapuntal lines and rich modulations dear to altist Jay Rattman to portray him. The one self-portrait of the album, the ethereal lullabye A Dream shows the interplay between Becca Stevens and the band reach telepathic highs. Sleepwalk is a brooding landscape designed for flautist Anna Webber, while Truce inverts one of pianist Laurent Coq‘s own compositions to honor his influence on Flouzat’s music. The album ends with tributes to the two other members of the rhythm section, Can Olgun on the through-composed What’s Up Yourself, and bassist Desmond White on the songlike Knight.