Erik Truffaz – Mantis
(Blue Note – 2001)
by Ricky Miller
Trumpeter Erik Truffaz was introduced to the general public in 1998 as a major European jazz artist thanks to The Dawn, an astonishing experimental mix of jazz, Drum’n’Bass and hip-hop. His mind-bending performances have revealed that the drum n’ bass and ambient perspective is as viable and exciting on acoustic instruments, as it is on samplers and drum machines. Although I found The Mask to be a more enjoyable work overall, Mantis shows growth for the trumpeter, much like the career of the man he seems to pattern himself after, Miles Davis.
With fresh material organically developed over the past year, his latest record, Mantis, features Erik and his Ladyland Quartet sailing between electric underground and the smarter side of groove jazz. This record, like the man it’s named after, is about feeling and freedom. Winding between grooves that border on Hip-Hop (Saisir) and Middle Eastern (Magrouni, Nina Valeria) Truffaz continues to expand his boundaries, and yours.