Scott Yanow: Exultet, an accordion-guitar-drums trio that explodes all musical stereotypes, is quite rockish and passionate on Kern (DMCHR 71094).
Exultet is a most unusual trio. It is comprised of Christophe Girard on accordion, guitarist William Rollin and drummer Stan Delannoy. While one might think of that instrumentation as resulting in gentle 1950s jazz, with an accordionist who might sound like Art Van Damme, joined by rhythm guitar and quietly swinging drums, few things could be further from the truth.
While the three musicians are classically trained, their playing is rockish, dissonant, often explosive and passionate. Some of their performances (such as “Herbes Folles”) could serve as the soundtrack to a science fiction movie.
Put all images of the accordion out of your head. Christophe Girard’s playing is not reminiscent of cool jazz or even zydeco. He plays with the ferocity of a rock guitarist, is not afraid to be loud, and often creates rhythmic lines while belting out the chords. William Rollin sometimes across as a heavy metal guitarist but one with impressive technique and versatility while never being shy to raise the roof. Drummer Stan Delannoy reacts quickly to the other players and keeps the music grooving and moving forward. Some of the performances are a little quieter, using drones and quiet repetition without losing any of its passion.
Performing eight Girard originals plus two by Rollin, Exultet tosses away all accordion trio stereotypes and creates powerful new music that is always stirring.