Philippe Crettien

Jazz à Toulon – Jazz Hot Review

Philippe Crettien Quartet
Toulon Jazz Festival, France | July 23, 2014

The Philippe Crettien quartet is comprised of Philippe Crettien, tenor saxophone with the fine guitarist Patrick Mottaz, gifted bassist Sean Farias who is outstanding at accompanying and soloing and Mike Connors, powerful drummer with tremendous sensibility and energy. Philippe Crettien’s tenor playing has greatly evolved. Originally inspired by John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, discovering Warn Marsh has greatly affected his tenor playing. Philippe has a softer, warmer sound using a more legato approach to phrasing with more flexibility in his time feel enabling consistency in execution all over the range of the horn. He hasn’t lost any of his lyricism nor his power, on the contrary. We sampled all of these qualities in a long, rubato saxophone solo intro settling in an up tempo bebop blues with the rhythm section joining him in a muscular performance. We heard a beautiful lyrical ballad, “Pluton.” We heard “Saint John” a Calypso-funk grove with a masterful guitar solo among others. All the compositions are originals from Philippe Crettien and Patrick Mottaz. This was a beautiful and powerful performance, a good first introduction to the band  who will be performing the following night at The Quai du Parti on the port of Toulon.

Philippe Crettien was at the first Toulon jazz festival with Dave Zinno, bass, Bill Lowe, trombone and tuba, Bob Gullotti, drums  and John Medeski who is now a leading pianist-organist in the world. They all, plus others conducted the very successful workshops of the festival  and performed at night enabling a few novice jazz musicians like saxophonist Olivier Temime and Olivier Boge to hone their craft.

by Serge Baudot
Jazz Hot #669, Fall issue 2014