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Incontre (Sounderscore Records)
Before we got Three (which should really be titled Three and a Half, since Loueke put the band back together for his 2015 Blue Note date Gaïa), Sounderscore graced us with Biolcati’s first solo release since 2008. Like Three, Incontreis all about keeping it elegant, even on Charles Mingus’ “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love”, which lets Sam Yahel get back to his roots on Hammond B3. But where Three is firmly based in Loueke’s home country of Benin, Incontre is straight-up modern Western jazz, fueled by the knockout front line of Yahel and reed wizard Dayna Stephens. Biolcati and drummer Jongkuk Kim keeps the foundation both resilient and effervescent as Biolcati puts his interpretive touch on material that veers from Monk’s “Boo Boo’s Birthday” and Dave Holland’s “Hello I Lied” to Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” and Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.” After experiencing the delight that is Incontre, Biolcati better not make us wait eleven years for his next solo outing!