Modern Times, Antoine's seventh solo release (2nd from Rendezvous), is one appropriately named album! Ten tracks take you on a journey across the globe, across cultures and across musical styles in a way only possible in these modern times. Each track is a unique, intriguing blend of musical styles that give the listener a lot to explore.
All ten tracks were produced and arranged by Antoine and David Ferrero, and all but one were written or co-written by Antoine, who also plays bass, keyboards and lends his vocals to the tracks.
The CD starts with the Euro-chill flavored title track blended with some nice melodic jazz and featuring some funky guitar and nice trumpet/flugelhorn (Manuel Machado). “Bella Via” is a fun, light, upbeat Latin-flavored track that features Marc Antoine's trademark flamenco/jazz guitar style.
The Sting tune, “La Belle Dame Sans Regrets,” gives us more of Antoine's flamenco/jazz guitar mixed with a Brazilian groove with a French accent. I'm not a fan of breathy vocals, but the mix of styles is intriguing… complete with a little French rap toward the end.
“Can You Feel It” is a beautiful acoustic guitar piece featuring some great bass guitar by Antoine and some really nice tenor sax by Bobby Martinez. “Camden Town” begins with a cool atmospheric intro moving into a strong, driving chill beat. There is a lot of style-blending going on here. We even get a little ‘70s disco flavor toward the end. More great bass by Antoine, flugelhorn by Machado and trombone by Ove Larson give this track a great jazz feel. “Cantar Al Amor” – India meets Spain with a chill/trance groove.
One of my favorite tracks, “Umbele” takes us on a visit to Capetown. This is a wonderful, upbeat, happy track with awesome guitar work over some very interesting sampling. Next, it's time to stop off in Brazil and feel the rhythms and colors of the samba with “Samba Hood.” Bobby Martinez and Phillippe Saisse add some great accents on flute and piano. Another favorite track, “Shake It Out” steps into the deep South where Martinez 's alto flute give it that Euro-Chill flavor, while the vocals and guitar give us a solid Delta groove.
Closing the CD is the very funky, fun and toe-tapping track, “If You Believe.” Great blues guitar and some really funky tenor sax give us some urban blues that morphs into a great Gospel feel. Nice work.
- Elizabeth Ware