||I have known the musicians who appear on this album for several years. I have had the opportunity to play with each of them, separately, in various contexts and various places in Europe and elsewhere, and I always have been impressed by their understanding of my music, by the new extensions they were able to give to it, as well as by the depth, the creativity and the emotion that make up their own art. The idea came to me to build something upon these affinities, to bring together these very special individuals and form this quintet to present some of my recent compositions.|
Michel Herr, from the liner notes of the CD.
Since the release of the award winning "Intuitions" in '89 we have been waiting for Michel to come forward with a new album, as a leader.
The long wait paid handsomely. Notes of Life, the piece that gave the album its title was composed in memory of the late Jacques Pelzer. Michel plays with his European 5tet, a team that has been interacting for many years and features some of the best European musicians, who do full justice to the music. In fact, when writing the music, Michel Herr knew his 5tet will play it and wrote his themes having in mind each of them, his style and way of playing, and leaving enough freedom for their outstanding talent.
Each time I listen to this album, in my opinion one of the most beautiful productions of '98, I remember why I so much love jazz music. (I.O.)
" Here he is again, at the head of what he calls his European Quintet, for a CD offering eight new lovingly sculpted themes, highly structured but nonetheless open to improvisation. Although an excellent pianist, Herr never puts himself in the foreground, and emphasizes communitarian discourse. One feels that he is above all an organizer, concerned, as the marvelous arranger that he is, to get the best out of his compositions by soliciting the total involvement of his bandmates. Listen to the intertwining of instruments on "Notes of Life" or on the magnificent "Blank Page" ! The musicians move undemonstratively in the most perfect elegance, like a catamaran with the crew bound together, carried by a long peaceful wave to the end of its run. This CD is cheerful from start to finish, sometimes with hints of swing and often tinged with nostalgia, like the old, yellowed photos, such as those on the cover, that preserve memories of carefree times when all the rest has been forgotten. Intuitions got noticed 10 years ago; Notes of Life is also noteworthy. "(Pierre Dulieu, webzine "Le Jazz", France)
more press quotes in the French and Dutch version of this page