Song Garden

Artist: Francois Ingold

Date of Release:

Catalogue no: AS210

Label: Altrisuoni

Price: £12

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Track Listing







Black Trombone



Jean-Baptiste Grenouille



Children Song "to Denis"



Première Dent



A Forest



Love Song



Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux



Hymne au revoir





After many long months of work I am pleased to present you with my new CD "Song Garden", recorded at the magnificent Meudon studio in Paris. I have managed to complete this project also thanks to the help of two outstanding French musicians. On the double-bass you may hear Diégo Imbert, also known as the stage companion of Biréli Lagrène, the great manouche guitarist. On the drums it's Fred Bintner who's holding the sticks, the eclectic musician whose career has already reached many jazz, rai, salsa and classic musicians alike.
By the means of the eight original compositions or arrangements, the trio will attempt to read to you a brief history of music with songs like "Jean-Baptiste Grenouille", "Children Song" and also "Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux" by George Brassens.




15/10/2007  Stuart Kremsky, Cadence Magazine

Sensitive almost to a fault, pianist François Ingold and his co-conspirators Diego Imbert on bass and Fred Bintner on drums display a group sound with a distinct seriousness of purpose on Song Garden. Ingold’s aim with this album was to attempt a brief history of music through song. In addition to the pianist’s generative originals and arrangements, the trio puts its stamp on material by a pair of French singer/songwriters, Georges Brassens (“Il n’y a pas d’amour heureux”) and the slightly younger Serge Gainsbourg (“Black Trombone”), along with the even more unlikely “A Forest”, by the Cure. Their version of the rock song is suitably dark and ruminative, and so natural you wonder why there haven’t been more instrumental versions of Robert Smith’s simple and evocative melodies. With the concept of “song” so prominent here, it’s no wonder that the lyrical qualities of the material are emphasized throughout, and that tempos are generally moderate. The group’s improvisations tend to stick fairly close to the melodic contours, with Ingold using dynamics to shape the performances, which provokes some heat at times.
Imbert’s supple and melodic bass, Bintner’s tasty, focused swing, and Ingold’s crisp attack and rhythmic flexibility combine for a pleasurable listen. Nicely played and recorded, but non-essential.


29/07/2007 Tom Ineck, Berman Music Foundation

“Song Garden,” the recent debut by 30-year-old Swiss pianist Francois Ingold, further extends the impressionist keyboard school founded by Bill Evans and later developed by Keith Jarrett, Fred Hersch, Ivan Paduart, Brad Mehldau and others. It is poetry in motion, truly a “garden” of colorful musical delights.

Like the others mentioned above, Ingold excels in the trio format, here with bassist Diego Imbert and drummer Fred Bintner. Recorded last year in France and mastered in Switzerland, “Song Garden” reverberates with European romanticism, especially on the gentle “Childrens Song (To Denis)” and “Love Song.”

Even “Premiere Dent,” with its pulsing Latin rhythm and brief drum solo, maintains its stateliness in Ingolds flowing lines and Imberts subtle accompaniment. The bassist steps out a bit more on the lyrical “Il ny a pas deamour heureux,” by Georges Brassens, a popular French singer-songwriter who died in 1981. Imbert provides a beautiful bass counterpoint to Ingolds keyboard flights.

Ingold composed five of the eight tracks. “Black Trombone” is a haunting tune by French composer and cult figure Serge Gainsbourg. But, undoubtedly, the oddest choice here is “A Forest,” a 1980 hit by the British rockers The Cure. Like Mehldau, Ingold is capable of provocatively transforming a familiar pop tune while remaining true to its spirit. He repeatedly states the theme and creates dark variations, with Bintner eventually escalating to some rock drumming pyrotechnics.

The apt closer, “Hymne au Revoir,” is a gorgeous ballad of farewell that again places Ingold solidly in the romantic camp of Evans and his spiritual descendants. We hope the Francois Ingold Trio does not stay away too long.

Actually, “Hymne” is not the end of “Song Garden,” which after a couple minutes of silence contains a hidden track with the most animated playing on the entire recording. It has a Monkish flavor and features some very uninhibited drumming by Bintner.


16/06/2007  C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz

Continental Europe has been a productive greenhouse for American jazz. France was a popular destination for American expatriate musicians and artists in the early-to-mid 20th Century and now France is repaying that favor by providing a distinctly European brand of jazz in pianist Francois Ingold’s Sound Garden. Born in the Francophonic region of Switzerland, Fribourg, Ingold was broadly educated in Lausanne before returning home to complete his studies at the Conservatory of Fribourg.
Ingold is joined by French bassist Diego Imbert and drummer Fred Binter. The brand of piano trio music is from the school of Bill Evans to be sure, but at the same time is pretty well advanced from it. “Black Trombone” and “Children Song ‘to Denis’” each open quietly, displaying a capability for Evans-LaFaro-Motian intimacy, but also possessing something beyond that. Binter’s unique use of percussion elements on “Children Song,” along with extremely high register meandering by Imbert, gives the song a very modern impressionistic texture. Immediately following this introversion is a jaunty but subdued island vide, “Première Dent,” that has Imbert soloing with harsh assertiveness before returning to his rounded support tone. Binter turns in what can only be termed an impressionistic drum solo; quiet, living in the cymbals.

Ingold is inventive without flying out into the freedom desert. Harmony is Ingold’s touchstone and he remains close always to the root. He is not prone to dissonance, preferring tidy harmonic beginnings and endings. The Cure’s “A Forest” is, perhaps, the most experimental piece on the disc in its introduction but quickly settles into a modern standards groove with Ingold’s three-phased left hand figures and percussive treatment of the chorus. “Love Song” is introduced as a fractured lullaby onto which Imbert’s aggressive bass playing is laid, accomplishing a neat bit of duet interaction between pianist and bassist. Binter is so organic in his approach that the listener barely notices his entrances and exits.

Song Garden is finely recorded with pristine sonics and judicious placement of instruments in the mix depending on the piece and the pace of play. We are fortunate to have such splendid music to enjoy.


27/05/2007 Chris Spector, Midwest Record

CD Review: FRANCOIS INGOLD TRIO/Song Garden: There are clearly a bunch of piano trios growing on the other side of the pond that we really need to take a closer look at. This bunch of young Frenchies has a lot on the ball and tends to bring more of a global sound to the fore as they push what is jazz and what is world into that middle ground where both pull the best from each other.
Snappy cats with smart resumes between them, this feels like that classic
date that dips its toes in other waters and lets you know those waters are warm enough for you to dip as well without any shocks. Fun set that works well throughout and is a tasty diversion.


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