Zen Pause

by: Thierry David

Although the title inspires thoughts of complete peace and quiet spiritual transportation, the keyboardist/composer's Real Music debut actually incorporates a lot of exciting melodic and rhythmic elements from his long life's journey. The Parisian-born Thierry David once lived in Peru and jammed with Andean musicians. After studying at the Berklee School of Music, he entered the advertising world and wrote jingles; from there he taught piano, played jazz, rock, and heavy metal and recorded solo projects that incorporated everything from Indian to classical music. Real Music's promotional materials made sure the listener was aware that Claude Challe, initiator of the famed Buddha-Bar compilations, once referred to David as one of the few French musicians who legitimately belonged to the lounge chillout world those albums celebrate. While there are plenty of downtempo electronic grooves and mysterious, hypnotic keyboard sounds that could accompany a journey toward inner peace, a great many of these compositions match the easy grooving, jazzy, and melody-rich style of Keiko Matsui. "Rain on Me" perfectly swirls a graceful high-register piano motif with murky synth sounds and trippy rhythms, while "Deep Sea Green" perfectly captures the dual vibes of the disc in one track. After a minute of moody, relaxing massage music, the percussion and bass pick up and roll along, and David's cheery piano lifts the spirits the rest of the way. The easy-grooving, gently swaying "Connected" also incorporates the soaring, ethereal wordless vocals of Jade and a distant, blistering rock guitar, making this truly chill-jazz with an edge. Other pieces like "Silhouettes at Dusk" are more simple expressions of mood and romance. ~ Jonathan Widran

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