Uptake – So Far So Good LP

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Jazz’s sounds are well-oiled enough for constant reinvention. Who better to take part in this permanent reinvention than young jazz babies? With an average age of 22, the Uptake quartet took my breath away with their maturity and the virtuosity of their music.

Inventive, fresh and groovy, the band gets people talking. They’re four guys who came out of the wings by winning almost every jazz springboard they competed in (RéZZo Focal Jazz at Vienne, Tremplin Jazz at La Défense…). They don’t back down from a challenge and sometimes venture into pop and often groovy sounds. Hear for yourselves:

After a few gigs, the quartet recorded their first album So far So good (a pretty funny name for a first opus), released last March. Here is a juicy and tasty extract called: « Mantes Lalala »:

The Uptake Quartet reminds me of the Independant Trio‘s groove and Roy Hargrove‘s tight sound, everything but four young guys from near Lyon in France. Trombone, talkbox, synths that sometimes sound very poppy, the four-piece band takes risks and they pay off: the result is daring but also polished. You finish the album wanting to see when they’re next going to play live, hoping there’ll be a date nearby.

You’ll have to come to France to hear them for now, where they’ll be playing….

  • At Orléans Jazz on June 21;
  • At Péristyle Opéra in Lyon on July 9 & 10;
  • In Reims on August 22.

The Uptake quartet seems qualified to represent the French jazz revival, by challenging existing codes while preserving its own identity, the one that made Rue des Lombards a crucial address in the history of jazz… it bodes well!