The way trumpeter Pascal Ohsé sees it, R&B, soul, and jazz are "the closest thing we have to a universal musical language." The longtime St. Germain associate also believes it is a language that needs an update once in a while, something his Soel project set out to do from the start. Touring with the jazz and electronica-blending St. Germain meant Ohsé had access to St. Germain leader Ludovic Navarre's enormous collection of vintage vinyl. Digging dusty grooves during the day and playing contemporary, genre-defying music at night influenced the trumpeter to start Soel in 1998. Songs were written and a dream list of guest musicians was chosen, but work with St. Germain and a desire to make sure things were perfect kept Soel on the back burner. It wasn't until 2004 that Ohsé felt his brew of cerebral jazz and funky soul was ready, and with the help of Navarre he recorded Soel's debut. The cosmopolitan and deep Memento was released by Warner Bros. in early 2005. ~ David Jeffries

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