Yvonnick Prene Breathe

“Yvonnick Prene is skilled and talented without a doubt but there is a depth to him that calls to the depths within the listener. It is no wonder that he is in such demand.” JazzTimes

“Virtuoso Harmonica Player” Down Beat

“The most beautiful music I have ever heard on harmonica.” Lee Konitz

“A rising star” Dan Bilansky, All About Jazz


CD BABY, 2016

Yvonnick Prene has called New York home since 2007, but jazz fans in and around the Big Apple and beyond can be forgiven if they lacked awareness about his harmonica skills until more recent times. His first album—the inviting Jour de Fête (SteepleChase Records, 2013)—took a while to arrive, so the only way to learn about Prene prior to 2013 was through word of mouth or a chance live encounter. Now, judging from his recent output, it appears that he's making up for lost time. Two more albums—Wonderful World (Self Produced, 2014) and Merci Toots (Self Produced, 2015)—came in quick succession after his debut, a full gigging calendar in the past few years has kept him in the public eye, and a flurry of writing and publishing activity has produced a good number of jazz harmonica educational publications from this rising star. And now there's Breathe

Prene's fourth album finds him working within an organ-centric setting. It's a first on record for him, but it sounds as if he's been dealing with this format forever. Everything from the lively "Blues Comes Down The Seine" to the gently waltzing "As Night Falls" sounds natural as can be. Those two pieces bookend the album, but what's in between—an easy grooving rendition of pianist Monty Alexander's "Got To Go," a charged original in tribute to the Tixier brothers, a joyful calypso number dubbed "The Comedian," and several other winners—is just as interesting.

Prene's band here includes two veterans—organist Jared Gold and guitarist Peter Bernstein—and relative newcomer Allan Mednard on drums. For the most part, these four prove to be a simpatico set of players, ably supporting one another and playing off of each other. Mednard is occasionally a tad too heavy-handed for the topic at hand, evident in his crash-filled bossa nova backing on "Armorica," but that's just a small caveat. The big picture that Breathe projects—centrist sounds with enough surprises in the structure, soloing, and interplay to hold interest—is a bright one.

Track Listing

  1. Blues Comes Down the Seine (Yvonnick Prene)
  2. Breathe (Yvonnick Prene)
  3. Looking Up (Michel Petrucciani)
  4. Got to Go (Monty Alexander)
  5. As Night Falls (Yvonnick Prene)
  6. Mr Tix (Yvonnick Prene)
  7. Armorica (Yvonnick Prene)


Yvonnick Prene: chromatic harmonica 
Peter Bernstein: guitar 
Jared Gold: Hammond B3 organ 
Allan Mednard: drums 


All music composed and arranged by Yvonnick Prene except Looking Up (Michel Petrucciani) and Got to Go (Monty Alexander).
Recorded in Paramus (NJ) at Trading 8s, December 20th 2015 
Recording engineer: Chris Sulit 
Mixing Engineer: Dave Darlington 
Cover art: Yvonnick Prene 
Photo: Joseph Bologne 
Produced by Yvonnick Prene and Lorin Cohen

Released February 24, 2016