Mehdi Nabti & Prototype, Continuum Review
Continuum: A Musical Gumbo of World Influences, Modern Jazz, and Soul-Stirring Innovation
by Icrom Bigrad
Greetings, jazz aficionados, and melody seekers! Today, we’re going to unwrap a musical dish that’s as complex and flavorful as a Michelin-starred chef’s tasting menu. Say hello to Continuum, the latest offering from Mehdi Nabti and his ensemble Prototype. If jazz is the gumbo of the music world, then Continuum is a heady stew that simmers in the pot of modern jazz, seasoned with a dash of rock and African spices.
Mehdi Nabti—our chef de cuisine, if you will—commands the alto saxophone and claves with a finesse that reminds one of the storied jazz saxophonists of yesteryears. Nabti’s intricate interplay of tonality and rhythm is the main course here, an entrée that’s both academic and soulful.
But ah, let’s not overlook the side dishes. Thomas Morelli-Bernard brings a trombone that’s as rich and full-bodied as a vintage Bordeaux, especially notable in the track “Trantor.” Alain Bourgeois on drums and shaker is the salt and pepper—fundamental but vital, adding a rhythmic complexity that captivates the ear. Then we have Kullak Viger-Rojas on congas, serving up African and Latin rhythms like a delectable side of spicy jalapeño cornbread.
Switching our attention to Philippe Bernier on the electric guitar and trombone, think of him as the sauce that brings everything together—a mix of complex spices and textures, especially striking in the song “Garamantes.” Last but not least, Nicolas Lafortune’s electric bass is the solid breadbasket on the table, offering the harmonic comfort that makes you feel right at home.
As a whole, Continuum is a musical journey that’s not afraid to detour down untrodden paths. This isn’t just a collection of songs but a unified body of work that reflects not just the history of jazz but its global influences and its ever-expanding palette. This is not mere improvisation; this is a conversation—a melodic discourse that dialogues with the listener, each musician, and the grand tradition of jazz itself.
So, my friends, if you want an album that satisfies both the intellect and the soul, Continuum is your ticket. Nabti and his bandmates serve up a tour de force that demands—and deserves—multiple listens.
Till the next record spins, keep those ears open and that spirit swingin’!