Solis Lacus

A Special Radio TV Record – No.15

Sdban • 2022

With Solis Lacus, the Belgian pianist Michel Herr had gathered a kind of all-star band from the Belgian jazz scene of 1974. Among them trumpeter Richard Rousselet and drummer Bruno Castelluci, both at the time members of Marc Moulin’s (and later, incidentally, one third of the Telex line-up) jazz-funk band Placebo. This is their only album, released in 1975 on the Best Sellers label. Sdban Records is now releasing a reissue using the cover from the historic pre-release, once released on the Library Label Selection as part of the series »A Special TV Radio Record«. Originals from the seventies are traded in the high double-digit figure range. The quintet was rounded off by saxophonist Robert Jeanne and Nick Kletchkovsky on electric bass; on »Peace Please« and »Remake« Félix Simtaine can be heard instead of Castelluci as the polyrhythmic swinging beat generator. In general, the groove dominates, however. Solis Lacus therefore find themselves precisely in the border zone that ultimately became its own genre in the form of fusion. Electrification is an essential element, and often Herr can be heard at work on the keyboards, most often on a Fender Rhodes. Herbie Hancock’s »Headhunters« and Weather Report are clearly recognisable as reference points on this sound journey. In »Utopic Cities« Rousselet hits the Freddie Hubbard tone precisely, which depicts the smooth side of the 70s. In general, many things here sound so superiorly arranged and sovereignly played that they are in no way inferior to the subtle colour gradients of Creed Taylor’s CTI productions. Almost unashamedly sovereign.