© Frederic Raevens

Why give up good things? Why give up good bop and hard bop? Stéphane Mercier takes over and turns this recipe into one of his own. At times spirited, or explosive, at times more sensual, the sax player’s music is incredibly efficient. Under Nicola Andrioli’s fingers, who plays opposite the leader, melodies come to life and bloom. His touch is as light as it is alive, and will surprise you and marvel you, supported by splendidly inventive solid rhythms. Nicolas Thys roots the tempo while leaving space for sinuous improvs, while Darren Beckett (an old Irish accomplice) whips energetically, or tenderly caresses, the drums with shared joy. That’s what we love about this jazz… it reminds us of those great New York nights when music played until the wee hours of the morning, without ever waning. You’ve been served. The night will be long and exciting.