Less known than he should be outside his native France, Médéric Collignon is something of a jazz celebrity at home. A winner of multiple awards, the trumpeter/keyboardist/vocalist has participated and collaborated with the esteemed Orchestre National de Jazz, and and can be heard on clarinetist Louis Sclavis’ idiosyncratic Napoli’s Walls (ECM, 2003).
With Le Jus de Bocse the trumpeter brings a fresh perspective to the electric music of trumpet icon Miles Davis and to the works of King Crimson, as well as exploring a broad canvas of music across the jazz spectrum.
As well as being a very fine trumpeter, Collignon—whose reputation for being something of an absurdist madman—often uses his voice as the primary instrument, replacing signature horn with wordless vocals ranging from melodically reverent to piercing screams so high in the stratosphere that it’s hard to believe they’re from a human voice.
Some of what he does could be called scatting, but Collignon is more unfettered, as he occasionally digresses into tangential utterances, and garbled and guttural strange-speak.
Collignon deploys his sometimes warm, sometimes piercing and always inventive pocket trumpet virtuosic playing with great effect in a gritty and hard-edged group that knows how to kick it hard yet play it soft and subtle when required .
He too is a classic showman, often banters hyper-actively with his musicians and audience, as if the frenetic quality of his music carries him to a new dimension. For those who might think that jazz is too staid or safe or boring, Collignon is proof of the contrary.