Over a career spanning half a century, Jef Gilson managed to occupy more or less every post in music, both possible and unimaginable. His name was up there on the French posters of the 60s and 70s, alongside the likes of John Coltrane, Oscar Peterson, Sun Ra or Ray Charles. He recorded the new wave (Byard Lancaster, Archie Shepp, David S. Ware...) in his studio and played jazz in all its guises, from the most traditional to the most abstract.
And yet everybody, or almost everybody, seems to have forgotten: Jef Gilson is the great absentee from the history books.
Palm Unit plays Gilson’s repertoire without any a priori, in a totally complex-free way, reinventing it whilst preserving its original essence. The keyboards sound almost psychedelic (and often not that far from the style of Eddy Louiss on Jef Gilson’s 60’s albums), the sax scratches, mews and wails, whilst the drums make the whole thing swing. Even Palm Unit’s special guest Del Rabenja, who plays the valiha (a small harp from Madagascar) and who was in Jef Gilson’s band in the 70s, featuring on several essential albums bearing the Palm imprint, was surprised to rediscover the songs still sounding so modern, decades after they were created.
1. Ouverture Suite Pour San 05:50
2. Mode De Fa 04:24
3. Newport Bounce 04:31
4. Mother Africa 04:44
5. Chakan 06:02
6. Chant Inca (Trio) 03:22
7. Chant Inca (Quartet) 02:27
8. Hommae A Rakatozafy 05:47
9. Valiha Del 07:40
10. The Creator Has A Masterplan 12:13
11. Chant Inca (Duo) 05:44
Tenor and Barytone Saxophone : Lionel Martin
Keyboards : Fred Escoffier
Drums : Philippe ‘Pipon’ Garcia
Special guest on Valiha : Del Rabenja
Hommage à Jef Gilson - CD - Palm Unit
Hommage à Jef Gilson - 2xLP (Heavy Gatefold Sleeve in Sealbag) - Palm Unit