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Twenty years ago, the core players of the MegaOctet Andy Emler, Claude Tchamitchian and Éric Échampard created this trio, a parallel project to the full orchestra, as a way to deepen and create their own sound. The Useful Report is the trio’s fourth album and is a little more written than usual. Why the title “useful report”? Because it establishes the sad observation that personal interest is prioritized over life, superficiality over depth, appearance over simply being. The entire project that is “The Useful Report” can perhaps be held within these words : bringing life back to the center.
When one writes about a trio that mixes composition and improvisation, it’s common to speak of “complicity”, especially when the musicians have been playing together for twenty years. It’s a little less common to say that within the Trio ETE, the listener isn’t really hearing a dialogue between three individuals, but rather a polyphonic monologue. No one plays a solo per say, as Andy Emler would say, the trio is the soloist. The result : the trio becomes an independent musical entity, with its necessary organic cohesion.
Anchored in sensation, the performance is very physical (and not only because it is virtuoso). Andy also often speaks of music as a “voyage”. With this trio it is all the more true, as the sound matter is always in motion. The voyage is as much external, with the music being in constant motion, as it is internal, with the listening experience being synonymous with openness - to oneself and to the world around.
In this new repertoire, we find the useful mix of improvisation-landscape, research on rhythm which flirts with contemporary music and hypnotic dynamics anchored in rock music - it isn’t for nothing that Andy Emler is fan of rock bands such as Led Zeppelin or The police. Moreover, the album is intended to be listened to at a high volume, as one would listen to a rock band or a symphonic orchestra. In brief, it still isn’t jazz (missed the mark again!), but it is not something else either. The Trio ETE achieves the dream of a music that simply is.