Jean Pascal Boffo — La Boîte à Musique
(Musea FGBG 4777.AR, 2007, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01On La Boîte à Musique, guitarist Jean Pascal Boffo demonstrates yet again why he’s France’s answer to Steve Hackett. With every album, he reinvents himself into something new and yet familiar. With this one, Boffo returns to the intimacy of solo acoustic guitar as the centerpiece for each of the 12 tracks. Gorgeously warm, pastoral atmospheres spring forth that echo Anthony Phillips or Hackett circa Bay of Kings. Boffo shares Hackett’s sense of improvisation, letting himself wander through myriad connecting refrains and soliloquies that don’t necessarily evoke a compositional form, but manage to gel nonetheless. About half the tracks are truly solo renditions, though others such as the gorgeous opener “Un pont sur l’infini“ or “De l’autre côté du vent” employ a layered, multi-instrumental approach that begins with solo acoustic guitar, but then adds in additional guitars ranging from acoustics to ethereal electric guitar lines run backwards, creating an almost haunting backdrop. Boffo moves through some nuanced emotional and harmonic territory, sometimes evoking a lazy, hot summer’s day and at other times threatening the reverie with more ambiguous modalities, as on the title track. He sometimes uses a more expressionist brush, as on “La Ballerine” with its dance-like energy, or “Quiet Christmas” that would sound perfect on a cold winter’s day with a log on the fire. Fans of Hackett’s introverted acoustic side or even the ECM minimalism of someone like Steve Tibbetts will especially find much to enjoy here, and I can otherwise give this one an easy recommendation.
Related artist(s): Jean Pascal Boffo
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more