On the eve of 2020, we're still presented with a true instrumental jazzy reggae gem by much in demand French guitarist Xavier Bègue aka Kubix, who with 'Guitar Chant' earns himself a spot somewhere between Jamaican veteran Ernest Ranglin, American jazz guitarist George Benson and English Pink Floyd guitarist Steve Gilmour!
Assisted by class acts like Japanese pianist Aya Kato (described by Kubix as "otherworldly" and, together with the guitarist, sounding in opener 'Deep Eyes' as if Ernest Ranglin and Monty Alexander just teamed up for a new recording, then going soulful in 'Paris/New York', or evoking memories of Ruben Gonzalez's piano work in the Latin-flavored 'Sad & Salt', which somehow reminded yours truly of Lauryn Hill's 'To Zion'), ex-Groundation keyboardist Marcus Urani (masterful on organ and clavinet in 'Sunday Children', which Kubix composed on a Sunday afternoon surrounded by some family members and their children), bassists Clinton Fearon (now Gladiators front man Albert Griffiths has just passed away, the instrumental 'Mix Up' almost comes as a musical ode from heaven, and adding Clinton Fearon on bass, of course, completes the picture), Manudigital, Veron 'Koxx' Dinnall and Aboubass, veteran Vin Gordon on trombone (nyahbinghi meets roots and jazz, but especially a leading role for the trombone in 'Still Standing'), band mates Guillaume 'Stepper' Briard and Eric 'Rico' Gaultier (the aforementioned 'Sunday Children') on saxophone, and Nicolas 'Nicodrum' Belouet and Manjul on percussion.
Two very personal songs are 'Song For Abi', dedicated to Kubix' daughter Abigaël, who was born last year, and 'Grow Old By Your Side', composed by Kubix's wife Mirna (with Matthieu Bost of Bost & Bim on saxophone).
It just doesn't get more heavenly than this... Instant classic, instrumental masterpiece and thus maximum respect due!