French saxophonist, singer, and composer Thomas de Pourquery, known as the ‘new prophet of jazz’, has recorded a CD with two of his musician friends. Entitled Drôles de Dames (the French name for Charlie’s Angels), the monumental, visionary musical material, bursting with energy, is performed by Thomas on vocals and alto sax, Fabrice Martinez on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Laurent Bardainne on analogue synthesizer and tenor sax. Bristling with musical quotations, this process music enriched with electronics gives the impression of having arrived from another galaxy.
After travelling round the Earth in the lineup Supersonic, shooting their psychedelic rockets in the largest concert halls and stadiums, these three wonderful French musicians have come together in BMC’s Budapest studio, to set off on a cosmic journey. On their way to an unknown destination, they unhooked every safety belt, and relied solely on their own instinct and experience when taking the musical direction: since they are erudite musicians, this led to completely improvised music which however evokes the feel of having been composed, and contains masses of references to pop culture and jazz. As to what gives drive to their spacedance on the brink of free improvisation, it is contemporary endeavours, ambient experiments, bright synth-pop and unbridled psychedelics. At the same time there is more than a little reflection of emblematic albums such as Miles Davis’s In a Silent Way, or Klaus Schulze’s opus Timewind, and perhaps we wouldn’t be far wrong in detecting even the influence of John Carpenter’s film music or Sun Ra’s retrofuturism (a personal favourite of Thomas’s). None of this is accidental, if we bear in mind something Thomas once said, that ‘music is the only known spaceship, or at least the only time machine. It is stunning. Here it is, before our very eyes: music is able to shorten time.’
Thomas de Pourquery swapped his rugby ball for a saxophone at the age of 14. He studied jazz saxophone at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris, and with his courageous, spell-binding, catchy, tuneful music he soon blazed a trail for himself on the jazz scene. He is equally entrancing and sought-after as a musician, singer, composer, and actor. As singer and instrumentalist he has featured alongside lineups and musicians such as The Shoes, Fred Pallem, François & The Atlas Mountains, Sarah Murcia, BABX, Oxmo Puccino, Mick Jones, or the British pop group Metronomy. For Thomas, born on 7.7.1977, the 1970s represent the most inspiring musical era, particularly the art of the Afrofuturist piano-composer Sun Ra, to whom in 2014 he dedicated an album made with his lineup Supersonic: the disc Play Sun Ra won him the jazz album of the year prize at the prestigious French jazz gala Victoires du Jazz, and in 2017 the same event chose him as artist of the year. Following this, the international jazz arena opened up to him. He once remarked ‘My music shocks people at first, because it radiates happiness, and they aren’t used to it,’ but at the same time we can rest assured that listening to his music, this fear soon turns to joy.
Trumpeter and flugelhornist Fabrice Martinez is equally conversant with improvised music, jazz, classical traditional and contemporary music. While still very young he debuted as a band leader, and has become known as a soloist in many lineups. Currently he plays in the largest French big band, the Orchestre National de Jazz led by Olivier Benoit, and is a pillar of Thomas de Pourquery’s band Supersonic, the lineup Seven Song led by Marc Ducret, and many other bands. He has recorded albums with many renowned and outstanding musicians, such as Sergent Garcia, Alpha Blondy, Tony Allen, Charles Aznavour, Bernard Lavilliers, Oxmo Puccino, Jacques Higelin, and Barbara Carlotti. In 2005 he created the group Chut! who criss-cross over the boundaries between sensitive, melodic jazz and groove.
Composer, producer, saxophonist and keyboard-player Laurent Bardainne studied at the jazz department of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM) in Paris. He is the founder of the lineups Poni Hoax and Tigre d’Eau, and a joint founder of Limousine, Lost (founded with Camélia Jordana), and Sabrina & Samantha. He is at home in rock, electro, and improvised music. Laurent Bardainne has given more than 1500 concerts worldwide. He has played with the band Supersonic led by Thomas de Pourquery, and in lineups with musicians like Pharrel Williams, Feist, Chilly Gonzales, Tony Allen, Daniel Darc, Miossec, Arthur H, Philip Katerine, Lou Douillon, Sébastien Tellier, Étienne Daho. His unusual, striking approach to music is coupled with outstanding technique, a refined sense for melody and thorough knowledge of many musical trends.