We truly are well treated in this early 2018. So much great music has been knocking on my eardrums that it’s difficult to keep track. Although a late 2017 release, France’s Kami Octet, an avant-garde jazz eight-member ensemble, and their album Spring Party, was only just now heard by yours truly. The release is an adventurous and thorough experiment on contemporary jazz, sharing similarities with Fire! Orchestra and other such modern artists like Jaimie Branch. I’ve noticed the former mainly due to the vocal eccentricities of Christine Bertocchi, who at times recall moments of Ritual, which is always a bit jarring, but in the end utterly beautiful and mesmerizing. I would say that the high moments on Spring Party come either from her or from guitarist and composer Pascal Charrier. Even though most, if not all, instruments stand out at one time or another, these two beings bring constant and recurring moments of awe.
Even though the album is almost an hour long, it feels cruelly short. Forward-thinking jazz of that caliber and with that special sort of approach is pretty rare, but it’s always a treat when one such album drops. It’s a shame that I couldn’t bring you this piece before the end of 2017, but it’s a bit more forgivable when you look at how little press the album got, and how little promotion it was given prior to release. It’s never too late, on the other hand, to enjoy a great release, and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!