Spirit of the Sn@il CD release: Le jars jase jazz review

Review of Word Out’s second album Spirit of the Sn@il on French jazz critic Guillaume Lagrée’s blog Le jars jase jazz (also available on paperblog.fr).

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Jim Funnell’s Word Out
“Spirit of the Snail”

Produced by Jim Funnell
Released on Tuesday, 22 September 2015
CD release concert at the Sunside in Paris at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 22 September 2015.

Jim Funnell: piano and compositions
Oliver Degabriele: acoustic bass
Thibault Perriard: drums
Isabelle Oliver: Harp

“Dear cosmopolitan and xenophile readers,

As you know, the EU motto is “United in diversity.” As far as politics is concerned, it remains to be proved. On the subject of music however, British pianist Jim Funnell, Maltese bassist Oliver Degabriele, and French drummer Thibault Perriard illustrate it perfectly every time they play together. I have already praised their music in concert and in the studio. On this album, the triad is augmented with the presence of harpist Isabelle Olivier. She is nor a feminine alibi for a masculine trio, neither a classical one for a jazz trio. Her harp sounds like the kora of a Mandinka master.”

“[ Jim Funnell’s ] music is the singular result of a thorough reflection on rhythms, sounds, and colors.”

“Whether you want to stimulate your ears, your brain, or get your limbs in motion, enter the Spirit of the Snail with Jim Funnell and his band!”

– Guillaume Lagrée

Why it’s a good idea to practice soloing with the left hand while comping with the right hand…

To improve rhythmic independence? Of course. But also:

  • it might lead you to use different voicings than the ones you usually use for comping. Sometimes a voicing might be too low and sound muddy when played with the left hand in the lower part of the keyboard, but the same voicing played higher up will sound OK due to the absence of low interval limit restrictions;
  • the left hand is generally weaker and slower than the right hand. Such technical restriction forces you to rely more on musicality, inner hearing and singing when improvising with the left hand. When you then go back to improvising with the right hand, it feels a lot easier! Musicality is now right at your fingertips, with the greater technical ability of your strong hand available to serve it.

Word Out @ Les Disquaires (Paris, FR)

Word Out CD release: Le jars jase jazz review

Review of Word Out’s eponymous debut album Word Out on French jazz critic Guillaume Lagrée’s blog Le jars jase jazz.

Word Out CD cover_545x545


Word Out
Self-produced, 2009

Jim Funnell: piano and compositions
Oliver Degabriele: acoustic bass
Thibault Perriard: drums

“Dear attentive and focused readers,

You may have noticed that I already praised Word Out in concert, when the trio gave a sneak preview of their freshly recorded upcoming album, Spirit of the Sn@il; I certainly will tell you all about its release in due time.

Meanwhile, since it’s never too late to do well, let me trumpet the delights and merits of their eponymous debut album Word Out, released in 2009.”

“Word Out does not claim to revolutionize the piano trio format. These young musicians are not conceited. They are simply fresh, alive, curious, open-minded, joyful, and listening to their music does heaps of good.”

“If I had to choose an excerpt from this album, it would be their version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” (track no. 7). [ … ] Here, they take a classic, preserving its raw pop energy and conserving its British majesty while instilling a sense of swing typical of jazz music. A complete success from the first to last note.”

– Guillaume Lagrée

Improphile concert review in l’Echo Républicain

Article in L’Echo Républicain, prime daily newspaper providing local and regional information in Eure-et-Loir and the Centre-Loire Valley region (France), reviewing Word Out’s concert organized by Improphile, an association dedicated to promoting knowledge, information, practice, and diffusion of jazz and improvised music. The concert was held at Le Parvis in Chartres on May 26, 2012.

Les thèmes lyriques du jazz avec Word Out
L’Echo Républicain
2012-05-30

The lyrical themes of jazz with Word Out

“Jazz trio Word Out inflamed the Parvis’ cellar on Saturday night.

Led by Anglo-French charismatic pianist and inspired composer Jim Funnell, a Berklee College of Music alum, Word Out offers sophisticated yet accessible worlds.”

– Basem Shalabi