Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Moutin Reunion Quartet

Francois Moutin (contrebasse), Rick Margitza (saxophone), Louis Moutin (batterie), Pierre De Bethmann (piano)

And where were you last night when the most exciting jazz band to hit Cincinnati this year took to the Blue Wisp bandstand? The French group, The Moutin Reunion Quartet, was the BOMB--and drew an eclectic crowd of 45-50 people of all ages at $10-12 a head on a Tuesday night with absolutely no coverage by any of the local media (so what else is new in this town?)...

Rick Margitza, the American sax player who joined Miles Davis' group in 1988 and cut 3 CD's with them, may have been the most well-known player in the group to U.S. audiences, but the three Frenchmen were the real revelation to this listener. Accompanied by the internationally acclaimed pianist Pierre de Bethmann, winner of the 2004 Prix Django Reinhardt as French musician of the year, the identical twin brothers, Louis and François Moutin, who play drums and bass respectively, were palpably "in the zone" last night, particularly in their Bird's Medley duo piece. This energetic band really rocks and the joy in their playing is genuine and refreshing. As's website says:
They say they started performing together in the womb, one snapping fingers and the other humming melodies. They both went on to PhD's, one in Physics and one in Math. But they couldn't stop playing music, even when they were separated by the Atlantic Ocean, one in New York and the other in Paris. If you don't believe in the twin bond, you'd have to rethink that after watching François Moutin and Louis Moutin perform together. A tighter and more amazing rhythm section cannot be found in the jazz world.

In the five years that I have been going to the Wisp regularly, this is the ONLY time I can ever recall being part of a STANDING OVATION at the end of a performance -- and that includes Dave Liebman's group and Freddy Hersch's last gig here in May of 2003!

The only Cincinnati musicians to be seen in the audience, getting their groove on: Phil DeGreg; Bill Jackson; Steve Schmidt; and Ed Moss.

A word to the wise: next time this band is in the 'hood, make sure to check them out!

Listen to audio clips from The Moutin Reunion Quartet's new CD, Something Like Now, and buy it at

Interview: Power Twins Unite: Francois and Louis Moutin (