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Reginald Policard at Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club
Exploring unfamiliar territory and pushing relentlessly his limit

Miami Beach, August 4, 2007

Reginald PolicardFans of tuneful, cooking combos got plenty for their ears last Saturday (08/04/07) when Haitian born pianist, Reginald Policard (RP), stepped on the stage of the Arturo Sandoval Jazz Club, housed in the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach. The pianist and his quintet delighted the audience with two two-hours-set of music, made up of pieces excerpted from his large repertoire. Some tunes from "Detour" his latest album and a couple of traditional songs constituted the essence of the night.

The "Detour" seemed definitely on its way in RP's career. Indeed, he played one of his new compositions entitled "fascination" and one can deeply feel this new direction, this determination to sail towards new horizons. The piece is really jazzy (bebop) enlivened with a twist of Policard's approach. We have to mention the dazzling horn section: Jean Caze and David Fernandez who fine-tuned their support from the beginning to the end. Tenor saxophonist Fernandez and Trumpeter Caze dug into RP's pieces like bulldogs with T-bones. The result was a series of beautiful solos that brought specific colors to the night. Andrew Atkinson and Samy Figueroa worked the rhythm section very well and the latter introduced the pianist with respect and admiration.

I have also to mention some concerns about Andrew Atkinson, who played so loudly that, at certain moments, the audience could barely hear the piano. Was this a sound problem? I may never have an answer to this legitimate question. I also deplored the fact that at some very crucial moments of this concert, the audience was more into its loud talking than really listening to the music; especially when Dion Kerr (upright bass) ventured in subtle dialogues with Reginald as a preamble to his new piece "Fascination". It was annoying not to be able to listen to these chords he was subtly hammering in response to Dion's introduction. By the way, Dion was the youngest player on stage and according to Reginald he drinks milk at rehearsal: a joke that help the pianist build complicity with the audience. Richard Barbot (electric bass) flew especially for the occasion and played also a couple of tunes. Reginald also introduced his son Jeff, who played the synthesizer and sang the only vocal piece of the night "chak Jès" excerpted from the album "Ki sa nou ye?"

With this latest recital on the Arturo Jazz Club's stages, Reginald is positioning himself as an intense and resilient player with a performance that twinkled with the stars. The best seems to be still ahead…Chapeau!

Alphonse Piard, Jr.
August 4, 2007

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