During his teenage years, conservatory-trained and award-winning French trumpeter Erik Truffaz was inspired by Miles Davis' Kind of Blue album, an inspiration that informed his early work as a leader. His first album, Nina Valeria, arrived in 1994, and in 2000 Truffaz signed with Blue Note Records and released The Mask, a straight-ahead jazz session with Miles Davis similarities. However, on his second and third discs, Revisité and Mantis, both issued in 2001, Truffaz began stretching the boundaries of contemporary jazz by incorporating drum'n'bass and hip-hop rhythms, establishing himself as a cutting-edge artist in his own right. In 2003, both Walk of the Giant Turtle and Bending New Corners were issued on Blue Note. Saloua, released in 2005, expanded his interest in hip-hop. ~ Linda Seida & Al Campbell
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