Les Rugissants – D’humain et d’animal

The Music

The Words

Les Rugissants is a nu jazz ensemble from Paris, France, and they recently released their latest album: D’humain et d’animalOf Human and Animal, if you allow me the free translation. At the junction of progressive rock and big band jazz, Les Rugissants plays an emotive and intellectually compelling brand of jazz that I must make sure you not miss.

After the lyrical and rather romantic introduction of “Le visage”, we get to an interesting \(\frac{5}{4}\) motif in “Second hymne delphique à Apollon”, which gets expanded upon throughout the song, quite rewardingly so. At this point I must add that all the musicians on board excel at their own instrument–which goes without saying–, and that they are incredibly well balanced in the mix, which goes a long way for the appreciation of their music.

The remainder of D’humain et d’animal retains these characteristics all throughout: gripping harmonic motives and progressions, stochastic melodies popping in and out of existence, and a strong hold on rhythmic intricacies of many kinds. Most of it is instrumental, but there are vocal pieces, like the melancholic “Arrossendo – À bout de feu”, and the entirety of the “Enfonçures” suite, originally written by Didier-Georges Gabily as a theatrical piece.

D’humain et d’animal not only presents a thoroughly modern take on music, but it also takes in a wide variety of influences, from Ancient Greece to traditional musics from all around the world. Les Rugissants crafted one of the year’s best orchestral jazz releases yet!

The Links

Purchase via Klarthe Records

The Recs

Graz Composers Orchestra Meets Claudia Döffinger
John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble
Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra