We discovered Sonny Troupé with Voyages et Rêves, a very promising first album. More than just a visiting card, it was a boarding card for a world bridging the borders between the diverse styles that characterise the personality of this Guadaloupian drummer. Gwo ka – the music with which the son of saxophonist Georges Troupé learnt all the essentials (and the drum of the same name that goes with it) – remains his reference point. Then there’s jazz – the other music he was brought up on, listening to drum masters like Max Roach and Art Blakey – and all the musicians he met and mixed with, from Kenny Garrett to Lisa Simone. But there’s also all the music he came across when he arrived in Paris in the early 2000’s – funk and rhythm’n’blues, metal and West African, not forgetting the music of the overseas diaspora. All these influences make themselves heard in the first album, a wild trip scattered with samples and quotations, with an underlying examination of the creole identity. But there’s more to come with this new album, whose name says it all: Reflets Denses (Dense Reflections).
That’s the idea that Sonny Troupé decided to develop following Luminescence, the duo with Grégory Privat that came out in 2015. Resemblance and difference is the duality inherent in Sonny Troupés personality. He is not one simple thing or another, but rather the sum of his complexities. You need to be able to listen between the lines if you want to understand the whole of his message. An apparently classical theme can take on electronic contour, a post-modern sound can become the subject of a jazz treatment. Every time, the primary materials become the object of a reinterpretation, creating diffractions of the same.