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Jerome Sabbagh: I Will Follow You

img  Tobias Fischer

It’s easy to see – once you suspend all disbelief that improvised jazz can be anything more useful than the noise of 2-year-olds bashing away at Yo Gabba Gabba toys – how this Brooklyn-based French saxman has a few big awards swinging from his pelt.

Most of the genre’s output is like reality TV, a bunch of half-familiar strangers looking at each other and hoping that the next few bars aren’t going to sound like crap, but of course they do, but since college diplomas (hard-earned or not) were once handed out to the players, we’re supposed to puff on our Meerschaums and mumble “yass yass” as discordant wheels are tediously reinvented. Sabbagh’s mercurial portraits are more life-like, more realistic, much more listenable, mixing the fully expected Mingus-flailings with Metallica doom (his longtime guitar fixture Ben Monder is an instant chameleon wherever things lead) and signing off on a totally unexpected chill-pop note (“I Should Care”).

Obviously a “sure, why not” with full caveats for eclectic tastes, but essential for anyone thinking of trying improv at home.

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Jerome Sabbagh
Homepage: Bee Jazz Records

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