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Baptiste Herbin is “Symmetric”

March 2023 marked a significant moment in contemporary jazz with the release of “Symmetric,” an enthralling collaboration between French saxophonist Baptiste Herbin and trumpeter Nicolas Gardel. The project solidifies Herbin’s reputation as one of the most innovative and exciting saxophonists in modern jazz.

Born and raised in France, Baptiste Herbin quickly rose to prominence due to his virtuosic skills, his deep understanding of both classical and jazz idioms, and his passion for bridging diverse musical landscapes. His dedication to the saxophone and improvisation has earned him respect on both the French and international jazz scenes.

“Symmetric” isn’t just an album; it’s a musical statement. It signifies the harmonious balance between two lead instruments: the saxophone and the trumpet. This duality, while present in many classic jazz settings, is explored in fresh and innovative ways throughout the recording.

Trumpeter Nicolas Gardel, with his distinctive tone and melodic intuition, proves to be the perfect counterpart to Herbin’s saxophone. The two weave in and out of tunes, sometimes leading, sometimes echoing, but always complementing each other. Their synergy is palpable, showcasing the fruits of rigorous rehearsals and mutual musical respect.

While every track on “Symmetric” has its unique flavor, the collaboration spans jazz with compositions like “Henriette” and “The Stroke,” soul blues with “Le Zappy” and pop with “Heart Breaker.

Beyond the leads, the supporting ensemble in “Symmetric” plays a pivotal role in shaping the album’s sound. Keyboardist Laurent Coulondre and drummer Yoann Serra round out the ensemble.

With “Symmetric,” Baptiste Herbin doesn’t just release another jazz album; he pushes the boundaries of what jazz can be. His collaboration with Nicolas Gardel is a testament to the magic that can happen when two brilliant musicians come together with a shared vision.

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