(1 customer review)


IMPORT 2021 – MS102020CD

Jerome Etcheberry’s Popstet and further proof that every note Armstrong played will simultaneously remain hip and timeless



Satchmocracy by Jerome Etcheberry




“SATCHMOCRACY knocked me out from start to finish and listening to it was one of my most satisfying experiences in a very turbulent year. Instead of pretending it’s the 1920s, Jerome Etcheberry and company perform this music in the 2020s, keeping it fresh-sounding and moving forward. In such a contemporary, swinging setting, Louis Armstrong’s original trumpet lines jump out and hit the listener between the ears in exciting new ways, especially when scored for multiple instruments and when placed over consistently shifting rhythms. It’s further proof that every note Armstrong played will simultaneously remain hip and timeless, especially when presented the way it’s done on SATCHMOCRACY!”
Ricky Riccardi (Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum)

Jérome Etcheberry (trompette, dir. musicale, arrangements)
Malo Mazurié (trompette)
César Poirier (clarinette, sax ténor)
Benjamin Dousteyssier (sax alto, baryton)
Ludovic Allainmat (piano)
Félix Hunot (guitare)
Sébastien Girardot (contrebasse)
David Grebil (batterie)




This new CD is completely heartening music.

And that should give you some of the bracing flavors of this new disc that passionately combines “tribute” and “going for yourself” in a way completely true to Louis’ spirit. Should your only question be “How can I get a copy?” the answer is very simple. Visit their website here with not only hope but 19.99 euro, do the PayPal dance, and the disc can be yours. Or here, if you prefer Facebookery.
The songs are TIGHT LIKE THIS, HEAR ME TALKIN’ TO YA, WEATHER BIRD RAG, HOTTER THAN THAT, I DOUBLE DARE YOU, MEMORIES OF YOU, BIG BUTTER AND EGG MAN, SOMEDAY YOU’LL BE SORRY, CORNET CHOP SUEY, STRUTTIN’ WITH SOME BARBECUE, WEST END BLUES, YES! I’M IN THE BARREL, NEW ORLEANS STOMP, and the noble members of The Ensemble are Jérome Etcheberry leader, trumpet, arrangements; Malo Mazurié, trumpet; César Poirier, clarinet, tenor saxophone; Benjamin Dousteyssier, alto and baritone saxophone; Ludovic Allainmat, piano; Félix Hunot, guitar; Sébastien Girardot, string bass; David Grebil, drums.

Some months back, Jerome, whose previous work I’ve found thrilling, asked me if I would write something for his new enterprise. It took me very little time to fall in love with this music, that seems adoring and irreverent (in the best ways) at once.

When I began to listen to this CD I hadn’t had breakfast, so after a track or two I thought, “This is filet of Louis wrapped in a spicy pastry crust, both rare and well-done.” What does my culinary metaphor ending in a cliché mean? As far back as the late Twenties, recordings show that musicians were so awe-struck by Louis – who came from a much more advanced solar system – that they imitated, or attempted to imitate, his singing and playing. Rex Stewart bought shoes like Louis’. And it went beyond individual attempts. Hear BEAU KOO JACK (1929) by the Earl Hines band – his solos scored for the trumpet section. Fast forward to Carnegie Hall, November 8, 1974: a tribute to Louis by the New York Jazz Repertory Company, with Mel Davis, Pee Wee Erwin, and Joe Newman (the sacred texts transcribed scored by Dick Hyman, of course) playing Louis in unison on CAKE WALKING BABIES, POTATO HEAD BLUES, WILLIE THE WEEPER, and WEATHER BIRD. I was there; it was electrifying. Not just as a “Wow, they can do that, and do it well!” in the way you’d applaud Olympic gymnasts, but the multiple voices gave heft and depth to music I’d known by heart for years.

I felt the same exultant chills down my spine listening to this disc. First, Jerome’s playing is glowing, passionate, and exact, both his solos and “section work.” He sounds like Louis in four dimensions, thick and broad and monumental. I also cherish the absence of caricature: no vocals, no “Oh, yeah!” which shows a deep understanding of the man: Louis joked and mugged onstage but was dead serious when he picked up the horn.

And so is Jerome. I can’t overpraise the rest of the band, either. Some bandleaders insist that modern musicians read parts – perhaps a transcribed Jimmy Strong solo – and that’s fine. But it is thrilling to hear these inventive players speak their own swinging truths so joyously, and when “Louis” comes back – in the person of Jerome – there’s no abrupt shift from one world to another. Each performance is a fully-formed entrée (to return to food) with its own savory touches, imaginative, playful, and memorable – so the disc never feels like more of the same. And there’s no conscious archaism either – the result is timeless Mainstream, swinging and vivid. I know Louis would like it. And since I think the dead do not go away, I’ll bet my 78s that Louis likes this now.

I love this disc not only musically, but as a delightful vision of what it might be like to live in a Satchmocracy: where our local deity is a bringer of joy who also takes Swiss Kriss and buys the neighborhood kids ice-cream, where each of us is encouraged to follow in Louis’ path, admiring him but being ourselves in every gesture and embrace. A blissful republic indeed.

Thank you, exalted denizens of that world who make such radiant sounds.

. . . . and for those of you who might say, “I don’t need this new CD — I know all these records by heart already,” this would be an error, because SATCHMOCRACY is a vivid, brightly-colored creation, a joy on its own terms. I would hug it if I could.

Additional information

Weight 63 g
Dimensions 14 × 13 × 1 cm

1 review for Satchmocracy

  1. J. Larsen (verified owner)

    How do you pay homage to an icon like Louis ‘Satchmo’ Armstrong, who if anyone in the hundred-year history of jazz has personified the spirit and originality of this music? Many musicians have tried to imitate Armstrong’s playing and singing by copying his recordings note by note, fewer have had the ability to convince an audience of the value of such an effort. The problem for a contemporary jazz musician who wants to take Armstrong seriously as a musician (- and not just as the media-created entertainer role that ‘Pops’ Armstrong was most often forced to fill in order to have an audience and continued success) is to reach the music unfiltered by the weight of jazz history and focus on the original vision it was an expression of in Armstrong and his colleagues. What is often forgotten about heros and icon worship in music is that music – and especially jazz – is the result of a collective effort and vision. Musicians rely on the expressions and ideas of others to create space for their own genuine input into the overall pool so to speak. Everyone always owes others something in that game, but in return – when it succeeds – it also gives back with new ideas and originality, if heart and soul have been invested in the project in addition to solid professionalism. It is with this approach to the music on the present CD recorded by Jerome Etcheberry and his colleagues that one as a listener quickly gets the impression of an original and successful exploration and reproduction of Armstrong’s music from his – for many listeners – most fruitful and innovative period from the mid-1920s onwards, which if anything has characterized the perception of ‘The Jazz Age’ and Hot Music. In other words, it is primarily the classics from Armstrong’s Hot Five & Seven period that get a new interpretation by Etcheberry and his Popstet / septet. – Jerome Etcheberry has arranged the music on the record, plays the trumpet himself and is accompanied by competent musicians who make up his Popstet – a septet consisting of Malo Mazurié, trumpet, César Poirier, clarinet, tenor saxophone, Benjamin Dousteyssier, alto and baritone saxophone, Ludovic Allainmat , piano, Félix Hunot, guitar, Sébastien Girardot, string bass and David Grebil, drums. What is surprising and innovative about Etcheberry’s arrangement of the music is his delegation of the musicians’ role as a whole. The backbone of the individual melodies is of course chord structure and rhythm, which here is in the hands of the rhythm section of the septet including piano, guitar, string bass and drums, while the solo voices are generally assigned trumpets, clarinet and saxophone with the addition that emphasis is placed on these instruments’ unison performance of the solo elements. Armstrong’s solos known from his own recordings get an almost big band reading of the music in some passages. Nonetheless it’s a democratic approach to Armstrong’s independent work – and therein also lies the vision behind the title of the CD – Satchmocracy is a collective work in which each of the participating musicians is important to the whole. And the order of the well-known titles on the CD points directly back to the original New Orleans tradition that Armstrong had in his luggage. This is not to say that the individual musicians in Etcheberry’s ensemble only continue the core performance of the collective improvisation, each of the participants gets through the CD’s 14 titles assigned their own solo initiatives on an equal footing with due respect for the musical material intact. This has been done so thoroughly and reliably that the CD insists on being played over and over again. An obvious topic for your jazz collection, Oh Yeah, Suh!

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