Franck Dadure & The Fakir Orchestra brilliantly combines both the synthetic recreation of electronic instruments, and authentic instrument sounds together to create a common partnership between the man and the machine. The relationship is almost instantly connected and has a great sense of flow that attaches onto each other. The synthetic moments make for the moments of true intrigue as they draw in the listener with subtlety, only to lead to an ambush of sound as the surrounding instruments join in. The instrumentalists, comprised of Franck Dadure, Dominque Grimaldi, Fabien Duscombs, Frédéric Sachs, Elliott Touzalin, and Daniel Zimmermann. Together, creating one mass of instrumentalists that together, create a new style of jazz.
Dadure also composes film and this translates incredibly well with the sound of Tako Mitsu, the record is entertaining and continues to keep surprises tucked away like a deck of cards. From the start with the self-titled track, “Tako Mitsu,” Dadure uses both vocal repetition and layered sections of horns where Dadure’s BandCamp page explains, “Tako Mitsu is a musical tour that begins in Japan with the singular interpretation of a traditional nursery rhyme, Bangladesh, French and Sweden.” It becomes almost instantaneously apparent that Dadure will explore a broad variety of cultures and sounds as “Tako Mitsu” uses childhood echoes that repeat a mantra of sorts. This mantra continues and is the first substantial instruments that stands out on the title track. When paired with the slick movements of the string ensemble, the proud horns, and the bouncing bass line that is laid down, it becomes a strange mix of eeriness and wonder.
Then as the percussion begins to flood in, the transfers between snare, cymbal, and what sound like handmade percussive instruments like bowls dropping and keys rattling creates a sense of organization. Franck Dadure & The Fakir Orchestra is not quite a free-form style of jazz, but it does pertain to those certain aspects as when the full range of instruments is cranking along like a well oiled machine, the piano in particular will move in a sweeping motion along the keys to create a small, almost controlled chaos within the track. As “Tako Mitsu” comes to a final stopping point, it makes sure to close by falling apart with instruments askew and a transitioning lead synthesizer that brings “Electric Sodium Trumpet” into frame.
Entirely instrumentally driven, The Fakir Orchestra creates drastic changes through each track, but maintains a level of familiarity so that no single track feels out of place or completely astray from the path. As a matter of fact, Tako Mitsu stays consistent with its approaches into the more experimental styles of jazz, even when crafting the authentic styled walls that will surround the sound, Franck Dadure still manages to include the authenticity of physical instruments packed into the electronic aspect. As the music breaks apart and becomes a sudden dash of a pre-loop percussive dance style beat, the band still maintains a large focus on authenticity as well.
In the track, “Le Sémaphore ambigu” it becomes almost atmospheric and reminiscing of a classic style of jazz with a new twist. The horn sections and percussion sections can be taken in a Miles Davis or John Coltrane style, but with the underlying and pushing piano, “Le Sémaphore ambigu” becomes more sinister towards the end of its run time and even as the track ends, the following picks up in similar fashion with “The Road to Almeria.” It is rather menacing, but instead changes to a slithering style of instrumental that relies on cymbal crashes and a focus on switching from subtlety and abrasiveness. Both style choices are effective in creating a constant shifting motion that also carries over into the much softer, more approachable following track.
“L’escalator Qui Plerue” is a soft-spoken giant of piano that creates the bass lines, and a saxophone that wails almost alone, completely standing out from the misty style that the other backing instruments create. It is one of the most impactful tracks on Tako Mitsu as it uses a sluggish approach, but stays fluent enough to stand on its own. The use of minimalistic instruments was a wise choice as it pins the focal point on just two entities, this is a drastic change before “The Grand Telerol Hotel” which resorts back to the usual style of previous, more enthusiastic tracks.
However, a track that truly stands out is “Coke Au Vin,” an incredibly experimental and strange track that sounds nothing like the rest of the album. It acts more as a track that tries to use everything in the vicinity, from big pieces of sheet metal to the clunking drums, the whole track feels like a scrambled mess. As a collective, Tako Mitsu is a powerful piece of jazz fusion that creates suspense and feels like a cinema masterpiece wrapped in a more convenient package.