Exposé Online banner

Jean Pascal Boffo — La Boîte à Musique
(Musea FGBG 4777.AR, 2007, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-10-01

La Boîte à Musique Cover artOn 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 36, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Jean Pascal Boffo

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dr. L. Subramaniam / Karsten Vogel - Meetings – Dr. L. Subramaniam is an icon of Indian improvisation. From his Karnatic traditional undertakings and Western classical endeavors his international collaborations with Ali Akbar Khan, Yehudi Menuhin...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues