Paul Jarret is one of the most innovative and exciting young guitarists on the European jazz circuit. Raised on the indie rock of the late Twentieth Century, he aims to deconstruct these influences within the jazz language. In 2019, when he won the French Adami Jazz Talent award, he got the opportunity to really flex his creative muscles through a commission to write music for his “drummer hero,” Jim Black. Black is an American drummer extraordinaire who has made a name for himself in New York jazz through post-rock-influenced playing, rhythmic shifts and a texture-led style alongside the likes of saxophonist Tim Berne and trumpeter Dave Douglas.
Both born into rock but bred on jazz, they are both well-placed to rework their early passions into a new lexicon. Ghost Songs is the result – an outfit that toured the major European festivals in the summer of 2019, delivering a repertoire built on rock and folk, but weaved around a jazz helix. What audiences hear, therefore, are ghosts of popular tracks (all compositions by Paul Jarret), made more mystical, elusive and thought-provoking via a process of ‘ectoplasmic’ musicianship. Joined by Jozef Dumoulin on Fender Rhodes and Julien Pontvianne on saxophone, the group engage in a free jazz exercise that is part composition, part improvisation, redefining what our ears are used to listening to in the mainstream.