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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

RENAUD GARCIA-FONS

By Robert Kaye
Published June 22, 2006

<FONT face=Helvetica><EM>Navigatore</EM><BR>
Enja Records</FONT>

Renaud Garcia-Fons is arguably one of the most dazzling contrabassists of our times. Known for his overwhelming virtuosity and melodic sense, Garcia-Fons’ wide array of influences include jazz and classical, but also flamenco, New Musette, tango, Breton, European, African, Latin American, Mediterranean, Arabic, and Indian traditions. His unique artistry has led to many successful collaborations with such other globally minded musicians as Rabih Abou-Khalil, Dhafer Youssef and Nguyên Lê. Navigatore features the virtuostic bassist’s East-West synthesis, assisted by the skills of 22 international musicians who expertly perform his evocative original material. Like the Grammy Award-winning “Riverdance,” Garcia-Fons’ fifth solo project is a triumphant celebration of international composition; not to mention Garcia-Fons’ emotive, often multi-tracked, 5-string contrabasse playing. Along with layers of bass textures, he intelligently juxtaposes a wide array of multinational influences, traversing the globe in service of his unique musical vision. One immediately discerns this is an album, not to mention artist, of enormous talent. Repeated listening only affirms that Garcia-Fons’ command of orchestration, expert musical penmanship and profound skills as an instrumentalist place him in an echelon truly deserving of the accolade, “genius.”