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Next Voyage

Philippe Saisse

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Album Review

Philippe Saisse creates most of the sounds on Next Voyage with the flick of a switch on an amazing arsenal of keyboards. Like Jeff Lorber but with less soul, Saisse is a master producer, blending acoustic piano with too many keyboards to name - yet he rarely employs them in the service of compositions which stand out from any other. He seems more concerned with unfolding an overall vibe, yet that vibe's overreliance on click tracks and drum machines wears thin about midway through. On the plus side, many of his keyboard runs especially his bluesy touch on the Fender Rhodes and jazzy acoustic soloing - are bright and exciting, and, on occasion, he cleverly intertwines real trumpet (courtesy of Jeff Beal) and classical guitar (Marc Antoine) into the mix. But those more organic moments are few and far between on what comes across as a very canned project. More frustrating, the one time Saisse gets a real live jazz band (including saxman Andy Snitzer) together, their jamming is obliterated by a pretentious vocal rap on race relations.

Biography

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporary jazz keyboardist, composer and producer Philippe Saisse was born in Marseilles and raised in Paris; the son of a staff producer at CBS/Sony France, he studied piano, music theory and composition at the Paris National Conservatory, winning Boston's Berklee College of Music's prestigious Paul Winter Scholarship upon graduating in 1975. At Berklee, Saisse became the protege of vibraphonist Gary Burton, leading to a tenure playing behind Narada Michael Walden; he made his recorded debut...
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Next Voyage, Philippe Saisse
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