Sébastien Gramond – Mission 2010, Rendez-Vous Au Temple

One of the more recent releases from this prolific French jazzman, Sébastien Gramond has since come to be known as an underground icon of jazz fusion to those familiar with his music. Although jazz is Gramond’s most familiar style, he has also been known to dabble in a wide range, although by listening to ‘Mission 2010′, one wouldn’t guess he was anything but a smooth jazz artist. Also known as ‘Rendezvous Au Temple’, the album is composed of eleven mundane tracks which show potential through their keen musicianship, but ultimately fail to go anywhere profound, in no small part due to the fact that the album rarely ventures past one weary sound.

Although many of Gramond’s albums are highly driven by guitar, the only three instruments widely used here are the keyboards, the bass guitar, and the drums, all performed by Sébastien Gramond himself. Musically, Gramond plays all of these quite feel, and proves himself to be a skilled multi-instrumentalist, capable of giving a solid delivery regardless of the instrument. Where ‘Mission 2010′ struggles is not the execution, but rather the composition and direction of the album. Throughout the near-forty minutes of music here, ‘Mission 2010′ gives almost no sense of dynamic or change, instead laying slave to seemingly endless keyboard leads, and a dominant slap bass that makes the music undeniably similar to the incidental music of a popular American sitcom.

The music is kept quite upbeat and cheery throughout, with the only noteworthy exception being ‘Suspense d’une nuit viennoise’, which gives off a feeling of suspense that would make it perfect background music to an espionage thriller. Other than that, the music lacks much emotional contrast. The production and performance here however are quite admirable, although the mundane compositions offer very little room for feeling to get across.

While indeed quite a professional recording from Sébastien Gramond, I would much rather listen to one of his more adventurous, even ‘flawed’ releases any day. As it stands, this piece of smooth fusion is somewhat disappointing.


1. Mission 2010 6:10
2. Vers l’Endroit 2:30
3. Minuit au temple 2:11
4. Course solitaire 2:48
5. De beaux dégâts 1:29
6. Suspense d’une nuit viennoise 4:08
7. Torgnoles 2:05
8. Mais où sont-ils passés 2:01
9. A poil ! 1:59
10. Course à poil 5:24
11. Mission 2010 remix (bonus) 5:55


* Sébastien Gramond – all instruments


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