"All-stars they are: Club d'Elf have to be one of the most fluent polyglot musical aggregations on the planet: straight-ahead and avant-garde jazz, Indian, African, Moroccan, blues, funk (always funk), pop."
"A suite with many colors and moods, grooves, and melodies changing at a moments notice... Something about the idea of so many minds and hearts involved here makes this one a winner...If techno has come full-circle, enveloping [its] creator even as it points to another world, this party of relative soloists and collaborators keeps me guessing and wanting to guess."
"It took eight years...but Boston improvisational collective Club d'Elf has finally captured this city. Led by bassist Mike Rivard, Club d'Elf's first studio album, Now I Understand, translates the feel of a cross-city commute into music: layers of sounds from hip- hop to trance and a half-dozen world-music genres create moments of beauty..."
"Downtown jazz meets trance, Moroccan music, dub, electonica and jamband...the music's ambitious in its scope but navigated smoothly enough and with enough chops to cause musicians out there to takenotes."
"If you want to hear a band who does it right, may I suggest Club d'Elf, whose Now I Understand (Accurate/Hi-N-Dry) is an album where you do not know what's coming next, even after three or four listens. [With] incredible down-tempo funk jams, tranquil jazz, African percussion [which will] take you to the motherland, these guys refuse to stay in one place at any given time and it's a joy to hang on and see where they take you next. Even with all of the diversity of music and musicians, it's not scatterbrained or disorganized at all....It's about unity, it's about community spirit, it's about one world, one music. Club D'Elf must have discovered some good hash somewhere, because once they hit that high, they thrive on the buzz and allow themselves to weave through it. All on one puff."
"Club d'Elf is a fusion workshop, somewhat in the style of later Miles Davis or the Mahavishnu Orchestra, drawing together a range of players in a variety of genres to plumb jazz, dub, electronica, rock, trance, and the music of the Middle and Far East, with a heavy emphasis on Moroccan styles."
"Club d'Elf's Mike Rivard can draw from an unbelievable talent pool [and] with the studio, Rivard can put together any band he wants, whether they could all be in the same room at the same time or not. Great performances litter Now I Understand, but John Medeski and Mat Maneri deserve special mention (just check the Mellotron/electric viola feature on "Bass Beat Box") for their near ubiquity on the album. Now I Understand isn't an improvement over the live d'Elf shows; it's a different side of the same organism. Consider it the polished gemstone to the uncut diamonds of the live releases. Excellent."
"I love this friggin CD but I took it out of my car so I would listen to all the other CDs I'm supposed to be checking out for the channel [XM radio]. It's been a month [since I listened to it]. And then there is it, like a drug, so I pop it in and all over again - I am hooked! What have you done to me !!!!??? This is one of my all time desert island CDs. You can quote me on that too!"
"Club d'Elf's debut studio CD is the sound of a Dali painting...beautiful, surrealistic...eclectic, funny, technically impressive and, well, just awesome."
"This music takes its time, and only repeated exposure to its delights reveals the depth of its identity. There is an overriding sense of construction behind the entire programme of Now I Understand, [yet] this is music whose democracy is as profound as that of any piece of free improvisation."
"Put it on and go for a ride."