On R*time’s sophomore effort, Israeli trombonist/leader Reut Regev and drummer/husband Igal Foni are joined by guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly and bass player Mark Peterson. As the title suggests, Regeve’s initial goal was to create moods. As such she might have failed, which is not to say that Exploring the Vibe is not a convincing and exhilarating recording – to the contrary.
Indeed, except on a couple of occasions, the overall impression is of an onslaught – the title of the opening track also indicates that a good share of drama takes place. The quartet is often fierce and fearless. Rhythmic patterns seem to be flying from everywhere and the band is firing from all cylinders. This would have had the potential for an utter mess if it were not for the discipline and the clarity of thought displayed by each musician.
Other contributing factors are the players’ technical prowess and versatility. Regev has a rich vocabulary – her roars are simply majestic – and can exploit the whole dynamic range and register of her instrument. Her three cohorts are just as capable, which provides an incredible momentum sustained with unparalleled poise and confidence. Jean-Paul Bourelly switches between jagged lines, buzzing chords, or piercing notes; drummer Igal Foni concocts fractured figures/rhythms; and Peterson has the daunting task to anchor the whole.
Regev’s biggest achievement resides in her ability to present a mix of accessible grooves and challenging improvisation. We need more modern and uplifting statements such as Exploring the Vibe if we want to maintain a glimmer of hope in developing an audience for jazz.
– Alain Drouot