Maltese Saxophonist Carlo Muscat and French Pianist Tony Tixier Pay Homage to French Music

by Madonna

Valletta, Malta – On Friday, renowned Maltese saxophonist Carlo Muscat and acclaimed French pianist Tony Tixier will unveil their groundbreaking album, “Hymns,” marking Muscat’s sixth album as a bandleader. The album launch will take place at Valletta’s Spazju Kreattiv, featuring innovative reinterpretations of traditional and contemporary French songs, or chansons, in a tribute to the rich history of French music.

Carlo Muscat’s connection to France dates back to 2013 when he relocated to Paris to immerse himself in jazz and explore the city’s diverse musical landscape. A decade later, he has returned to Malta, bringing a taste of French music with him. Muscat and Tony Tixier, one of France’s leading performers, will present a program of thoughtful and evocative repertoire.

Muscat reflected on his musical journey, saying, “I must say that it’s great to be back at Spazju Kreattiv, where I launched my first album in October 2014 while still living in Paris. Nine years and five albums later, so many things have changed, and being back for an album launch with a very different approach to music also serves as a reminder of how much work has gone into trying to grow as a musician over the past decade. I am committed to stay the course more than ever.”

Tony Tixier, a Yamaha performing artist, has established himself as one of France’s finest young jazz pianists since his debut album “Parallel Worlds” in 2009. In 2012, he opened for jazz legend Herbie Hancock at France’s Jazz en Tête festival and now resides in New York, where he continues to perform and tour internationally.

Released in May, their debut duo album “Hymns” presents a captivating collection of French songs interpreted in a modern jazz context. The album features renowned 20th-century French songs, such as “Hymne à l’amour” popularized by Édith Piaf, and “Blossom Dearie’s Plus je t’embrasse,” as well as some unexpected gems. One standout track, “Bella Doëtte,” draws from a 12th-century Chanson de Toile, a form of Old French lyric poetry, while “Si tu vois ma mère” and “Petite Fleur” are compositions by the famous American saxophonist and clarinetist Sidney Bechet.

“Hymns” is a fitting title for this captivating album, paying homage to a diverse collection of songs that have solidified France’s reputation as a cultural mecca with a significant musical heritage. Muscat and Tixier’s performances on the record are both musically satisfying and thought-provoking, blending modern jazz language with familiar melodies and cultural references.

The concert on October 27 promises to be a delightful fusion of Maltese and French modern creative expression, respecting the rich history of the repertoire and showcasing two musicians at the peak of their creative powers. Muscat’s smooth and expressive saxophone paired with Tixier’s sensitive piano work creates an aesthetic that evokes a song-like quality while maintaining freshness and spontaneity. Their improvised sections are inventive, and their ensemble playing is impressively cohesive.

In summary, the album launch is anticipated to be a tour de force, a testament to the dynamic exchange between Maltese and French musical traditions. The event is supported by the Embassy of France to Malta.

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