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REGINALD POLICARD - CHANGING MOODS | A Detour that shifts to a Quest of new avenues

With a release scheduled early this summer, pianist Reginald Policard is launching his new album "Changing Moods", almost two year after the well acclaimed "Detour" which symbolized a turning point in the pianist's career. Surrounded by a group of talented musicians from Jean Caze, finalist of the 2007 Thelonius Monk Competition to Berkeley graduate, guitarist Leo Quintero, the pianist continues to explore new avenues to excerpt the quintessential of his inspiration presented on this CD as a mosaic of new approaches.

Reginald Policard, CHANGING MOODSThis album is basically an exploration of various approaches. Multiple colors, indeed, appear on this new project but the listener will have to be very attentive to uncover sounds that evoke some Latin flavors and a zest of our complex rhythms. RP is venturing into new avenues still in quest of a landmark in this new direction that remains to be defined. Well known traditional songs are twisted and arranged in such a way that it is almost impossible to recognize them on a spur of the moment.

The content of this project is too diverse to analyze the tracks one by one. But let's say a few words about the influences the reader might discern while listening to this album. The new arrangements on Carol (Boulo Valcourt) and on the traditional song Papa Danmbala are the only tunes that represent the past and yet the Pat Metheny Group's approach on Papa Danmbala demonstrates another direction. The other compositions on the CD show a rupture with the past to embrace a purely jazz expression. He even touched the smooth jazz world with the very hot tune "Let's Have Fun". The piece "It's up to you" swings smoothly invocating colors of Jarrett's trio. "Un soir d'été" takes the listener to the Moog/fender rhodes' world: and there, Corea's foot prints are obvious. RP is trying to reach the next level in the art of arranging and presenting a product that complies with today's jazz standard production. But by taking that route, can he find his own voice amid all these influences especially in a world where almost every conceivable "thing" has already been done?

With more or less a new project every two years since 2000, RP is really growing artistically and his musical collaboration with musicians from the jazz world is a key factor in this development. "Changing Moods" is another detour in Reginald's career, a detour that is shifting to a search for a new voicing on the jazz scene. Jazz aficionados who are watching closely the so called "Haitian Jazz" should have this album. Enjoy!

Alphonse Piard, Jr.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

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