Michel Noah: “Expériences” – the real deal!

Michel Noah was born in Paris of a Guadeloupian mother and a Cameroonian father. His work, that ranges from jazz to world music with both instrumental works and vocal pieces in various languages, is influenced by a cross blending of metropolitan France, the West Indies, Africa and his many collaborations on stage, in studio, as well as on television and radio, with many artists. A music school graduate and pedagogue, Noah has studied bass, contrabass, guitar and singing. He also teaches in conservatories, schools, associations and gives many internships and master classes in disadvantaged neighborhoods for the promotion of culture. Michel Noah’s latest musical creation, is his 8 track album, entitled “Expériences”.

On the first superficial listen it can be acknowledged that this is a great record featuring great musicians. But what makes “Expériences” so special on first listening, is the absolutely stunning recording of these tunes. This is the standard which all modern recording should be held to – there is no sense of overly compressed digital blandness here.

The sound stage is huge, the percussion powerful and crisp, and every instrument can be heard loud and clear, with textures that are beyond belief. In only a couple of days, this has become a favorite recording of mine.

“Expériences” is about as close to audio heaven as any independent recording I have heard this year so far. This is a great way to start listening to any EP or album. As soon as the joyful and harmonious female vocals set in, on the upbeat opening track, “Marry Me”, the music ravages you with its jubilance.

The shimmering piano, rolling basslines and playful horns drive the momentum with frolic and felicity. “I Really Love You” starts off with laidback tone and pace, Noah’s deep and smooth vocals are engagingly conversational while the higher register of the female backing places nice contrasting dynamic in the mix.

Halfway through the song, the pace picks up, allowing for evolving instrumental elaboration, with some delightful piano playing from Eric Montigny, and equally superb drumming by Maurizio Antonini.

“Mon Frère” ushers in an exotic flavor with energetic percussion, French vocals, and some complex strummed guitar rhythms, showing off Michael Noah’s disciplined technique and feel. On “Black Food”, Noah’s throbbing bass not only delivers a flourishing foundation for Agnieszka Ples’ Transverse Flute, but is a leading instrument in itself.

“I Need You” is yet another piano lover’s paradise, with some sweet and supple keys pushing the languid and sultry vocal melody into sensual ecstasy. The drums are also determined and distinct while Noah’s bass propels the rhythm with his usual tasteful thrust. “Dans Tes Yeux” features synth strings and an angelic vocal that is as hypnotic as it is soothing.

“Mes Beaux Jours” finds Michel Noah back on the mic, while his busy bass continues to bring up the bottom end of a swinging hip-swaying rhythm. The album closes with cadenced Latin rhythm of Pitié De Moi” and the balanced female-male vocal combination.

All throughout the album Noah and Antonini make up the perfect rhythm section—loose and responsive when required, tight and completely in synch behind the melodies elsewhere. If you’re bored and simply frustrated with the lack of real music available and the strangle hold the hip hop and rap generation has on music today, then Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you real music without any preservatives, additives, or artificial ingredients – the real deal.

obvious Michel Noah has playing chops, but the album proves beyond a doubt he has groove and a tasteful soul to match. Consequently the personnel featured on “Expériences” are fabulous adding a captivating dynamism to the proceedings.


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