Glasgow City Halls, 28th October 2006
Louis and François Moutin are French identical twins who play drums and bass respectively, and have worked with such musicians as Martial Solal. I’d looked forward to this, because I’m always interested in hearing players from outside the UK and US, partly because I feel a lot of them don’t get the attention they deserve simply because they’re not from the UK or US. However I didn’t enjoy the Moutin Reunion Quartet concert.
The brothers were both technically superb players, but although they were sometimes exciting in a showy JATP way, a lot of the time I thought they were playing a lot of notes but not much music. Lester Young’s “yeah, but can you sing me a song?” putdown came to mind, as did the NME’s dismissal of ELP’s output as “music played by technicians who are paid by the note”. They somewhat reminded me of an acoustic version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra: the sheer speed and intensity was impressive, but after a while it all felt a bit empty. Tenorist Rick Margitza – an ex-Miles Davis sideman – was very good though: he did know how to make his instrument sing a song. Pianist Pierre de Bethmann was perfectly decent, but didn’t really get a chance to impose his personality on the music.