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Review

Stephen Fruitman, Sonomu, September 20, 2010

Clench a rose between your teeth, shake down your dark hair and sink into the arms of your partner as Bomata strikes up a smouldering tango. Or lead your best girl more chastely round the dance floor to one of the band’s more family-oriented, catchy melodies.

This is the debut album of trio from Québec featuring contrabassist Jean Félix Mailloux, Guillaume Bourque on clarinet and Ziya Tabassian on percussion, a pretty staid-looking group of guys if you go by their album portrait. They approach each of Mailloux’ original compositions with tenderness and a slight, knowing smile.

But also with enormous skill and well-honed retraint. The band is as snug and tightly clustered as its name, an acronym derived from the first syllable of each of their surnames. Solos are few, brief and welcome expansions of the air within the pieces, and the fleet hands of Tabassian skim and dart spectacularly over the taught skins of an array of Middle Eastern percussion.

A special tip of the fedora to Denis Plante for his suave bandoneon on the above-mentioned tango, La Balançoire.

Fliratatous and seductive but never lewd, Bomata may remind you of some of the subtler, tastier versions of John Zorn’s Masada Chamber Ensembles.

They approach each of Mailloux’ original compositions with tenderness and a slight, knowing smile.

But also with enormous skill and well-honed retraint.

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