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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday May 24 2018 to Wednesday May 30 2018

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Christophe writes in french and the texts are translated by Claude Thibault.
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 Nouvelle R - Sénescence

May 24, 2018

What's the connection in between man and the planet? To this metaphorical question that's been asked before in jazz, such as with Sun Ra and his Arkestra, the Nouvelle R trio tries to bring answers. Never too spacy, but very interesting in regards to the form and its content, the trio lays down some powerful jazz that fits somewhere in between rock jazz and the blue note. Created 2015 by guitarist Sylvain St-Onge, electric bassist Carl Mayotte and drummer/percussionnist Olivier Bussières, Nouvelle R opened their horizons and shared their queries.

Without it being a completely new sound, we're reminded of John Abercrombie, Pat Metheney and Stanley Jordan, the compositions should appeal to a large public, without falling in the trappings of industrial sounds. In this case it's better to talk about textures, atmospheres and ambiances, supported by the bass licks of Carl Mayotte, one of the key elements of this new release. Even if we hear a bit too much of a studio sound, all of it is very fascinating. In regards to this trio that beckons the poet in all of us to imagine a better world, let's add that Le Pourquoi Du Comment, Alchimie Anamorphique and À Qui De Droit are well worth the detour.

Alchimie Anamorphique / Sendionek Mastro / Absence / Asthénie / Fugitifs / À Qui De Droit / Le Pourquoi Du Comment / Nostalgie d’Été / Conjoncture Post - Apocalyptique

Nouvelle R
on Facebook, it's here

To listen to Sénescence, it's here

See them at the Montreal launch concert Wednesday May 30th 7:30pm at Upstairs.

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


Les Royal Pickles - Jouer dans l’trafic

May 10, 2018

If you thought Dixieland was dead and gone, you're wrong! With this 2nd album which is anything but covers, the imposing Les Royal Pickles (what a cute name), opens up the summer season. Like the title says, Jouer dans l'trafic (playing in traffic) suggests we leave our tablets and other devices to stretch our legs and go out and dance. If the programmers of the Jazz Festival have a bit of flair, they should give a helping hand to this happenin' band that cultivates humor and swing.

Led by singer/violinist Mélisande Archambault, she's joined by five musicians and a plethora of guest instrumentalists. In the same musical family of the Fanfare Pourpour, Les Royal Pickles are poets of our daily lives with titles that bring a smile. From La femme à barbe to À contresens, and the very realistic Quand les nids de poules auront des dents to Février or Rhapsodie dans l'trafic, the music stands out just as much as the texts. Not only does the group get all the codes of Dixieland and/or New-Orleans, this happy tribe give us an album full of sunshine, invigorating and "trippy".

Février (Rhapsodie dans le trafic) / L'air d'un fou / Perdre le nord / Calcul d'itinéraire / Lévrier / La Somnambule / Une roue de secours / Quand les nids de poules auront des dents / Capharnaüm / Les bancs d'école / La femme à barbe / À contresens

Mélisande Archambault : voice, violin, choir, percussions
Alex Bouchard : trombone, tap dancing, choir
Christian Leclerc : tuba, bass drum, theremin, Jew's harp, percussions, choir
Louis Levesque : voice, banjo, mandolin
Jeffrey Moseley : electric guitar, lap steel, mandolin, resonator
Aurélien Tomasi : tenor & soprano sax, clarinet, choir, keyboards, percussions

Les Royal Pickles on Facebook, it's here

They'll be in concert Saturday May 19th 9:30pm at Val David's Baril Roulant.

For more info, to listen and buy Jouer dans l'trafic :

www.royalpickles.com


https://lesroyalpickles.bandcamp.com/


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Lisa Lorenzino Quartet - Evocação (featuring Carlos Jiménez)

April 26, 2018

As the sun and heat are making their way back in our lives and that we dream of terrasses and summer festivals, Evocação arrives spot on. In the Montreal music scene, the use of the flute as the premier instrument is rare, except for François Richard, so this is a treat.

Teacher at McGill University for the last nine years and originally from Edmonton, Lisa Lorenzino leads her jazz quartet as well as having created the Montreal Jazz Flute Summit with fellow musicians Frank Lozano, Jennifer Bell and Dave Gossage. On this album full of summer sounds and luminescence, we're in the universe of of brazilian music. Althought the genre is not as common as it could be in our northern climes, you'll hear references to Portugal, Brazil as well as familiar architectures by tenor sax Stan Getz as well as great brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Without it being 100% typical bossa-nova, Lisa Lorenzino respects the codes with acuity. Even if the sound is not as defined as that of flutist François Richard, Lisa Lorenzino is quite skilled and has a perfect sense of rhythm that translates into a certain joie de vivre.

And to add to the band that includes bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Greg Ritchie, she's joined by guitarist Carlos Jiménez (Gente Humilde, Palhaço, Mingus Samba, Constance, Cine Baronesa), and percussionist Aquiles Melo (Baião Blues, Mingus Samba, O Ovo, Brasileirinho) that bring a certain sound and special touch to Evocação.

Baião Blues / Gente Humilde / Samba Do Avião / Palhaço / Evocação / Mingus Samba / Anjinho / Constance / O Ovo / Cine Baronesa / Brasileirinho

Here's a video of Mingus Samba filmed at Biddle's Jr. Wednesday April 25th, here

Obrigado!

For more info, to listen to and buy Evocação :


www.lisalorenzino.com


https://store.cdbaby.com

https://itunes.apple.com

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Dominique Fils-Aimé - Nameless

April 12, 2018

Finalist of television show La Voix and part of the Pierre Lapointe's team, Montreal singer Dominique Fils-Aimé is having a nice success with the launch of Nameless. After two listens, we can predict she'll be around for a while, thanks to her soul-enriched voice, a far cry from pre-established formats. Dipping in the roots of afro-american music from the 60s and 70s, without trying to re-invent the genre, this young lady has a lot of potential. If you like Billie Holliday, the Staple Singers, the Supremes, all of those with a few helpings of modernism, that's what she does real nicely. What strikes at first, is the grain of her voice, powerful, sensual, and a modulation that gives a uniqueness to each composition, and of course, the spirit, or if you want : soul.

To convince you of the trueness of my enthousiastic writing, listen to Rise. Three minutes or so of happiness sung with simplicity and that little voice that will slowly get to you. Courageous as well, Dominique Fils-Aimé opens with Strange Fruit, THE track, if I could say. This hymn to struggle that gave singer Billie Holiday many problems, because she condemned lynching in hidden terms, the singer makes it her own while staying true to the message, direct and powerful. In closing she beckons the return of Nina Simone with the unavoidable Feeling Good. Then again, you can appreciate Dominique Fils-Aimé's intelligence singing the classic in a capella mode, that deconstructs the song a bit, without erasing the heart of the message.

Congrats!

Strange Fruit / Birds / Home / Sleepy / Nameless / Rise / Unstated / Feeling Good

For Rise, it's here

For the Nameless EPK, it's here

To listen and buy, www.domiofficial.com & bandcamp


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble - Sax Zenith : Live at the Yardbird Suite

March 29, 2018

It's hard not to love alto saxophonist Rémi Bolduc. Not only is he Associate Professor at McGill U's Schulich School of Music, he's presented many great projects in the past few years. One of them bringing us back in time revisiting famous tv scores from our childhood (Cote d'écoute), and, of course, his tributes to Oscar Peterson (Swingin' with Oscar) and Dave Brubeck.

This time around this mainstay of the Montreal/Quebec jazz scene heads an impressive line-up of star saxophonists. For this Sax Zenith recorded live at Edmonton's Yardbird Suite (his 10th album), he's surrouned himself with altist P.J. Perry, tenors Phil Dwyer, Kirk McDonald and Kelly Jefferson - as well as the steadfast Fraser Hollins on bass and Dave Laing on the drums - for a new release with lots of potential. This is a some hard-drivin' swing that brings us back to the golden era of the Blue Note label and sound. Etched on a canvas of seven original compositions, it sounds like Rémi Bolduc and his friends are having the time of their lives. Played in a free spirit without it being free jazz and where all stand out for more than a simple chorus, the band's drive is a brand of swing that'll please many. You don't have to be a jazz specialist to appreciate today's jazz sounds, such as in The Mentor, Someone in Love and the very beautiful Sax Zenith.

Hope a Jazz Festival picks them up this summer, but in the meantime, the Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble presents Swingin' with Oscar at Beloeil's Centre culturel Friday June 15th, for more info, it's here

Someone in Love / Clavardage / The Mentor / Salsa Saxophono / Sax Zenith / Things You Usual-Lee Are / The Revellers

To listen and buy, remibolduc.com and cdbaby


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Ensemble Gaudreault Turgeon - Jonctions

March 15, 2018

I feel spoiled these days. After flutist François Richard's magnificent album, the duo of guitarist Samuel Gaudreault and pianist Jonathan Turgeon do their thing with the release of Jonctions. In many of my last CDJazz articles I've often mentionned the lack of swing, the abstractness of some very intelligent compositions that sometimes sound too academic, well this is not the case. These two young musicians know their jazz history well, and you'll discover music that stands in between the Jazz Messengers and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Let's start with the opening track : La maison de verre. The message gets thru, the band is united and congrats to very smooth bassist Alex Le Blanc that tells a story. Let's talk about guitarist Samuel Gaudreault. I'm sure our friend has listened to Jim Hall a few times as well as Joe Pass, another giant. In Novembre, he very gently introduces the theme and then connects with the other band members. Throughout the tracks you'll hear trumpet players Lex French and Christopher Kerr-Barr, saxophonist Alex Dodier, the finesse of drummer Eric Maillet, and let's not forget pianist Jonathan Turgeon, probably one of the most brilliant pianists of the younger generation. As always, no standards, but no complaints because we discover these finely crafted compositions : La forge, On verra, or L’homme plante. Bravo.

La maison de verre / Novembre / Truyard pt.1 / Truyard pt.2 / L'homme plante / Pièce à géométrie variable / La forge / On verra /

Compositions : Samuel Gaudreault and Jonathan Turgeon

To listen and buy, ensemblegaudturg.bandcamp.com and iTunes

Jonctions will be launched in Québec, Wed March 28th @ 5pm, at the District St-Joseph, for the Facebook event, it's here

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 François Richard Quartet - Libération

March 1, 2018

In the world of jazz, very few have chosen to play the flute. A discreet but brilliant musician, François Richard is a well-kept secret. Daring improviser, sometimes adventurous composer, but with a sense of something well done and with exploration, such as this new opus. Like it often is, Libération's tracks are all François's compositions, and the word that comes to mind is swing. Because winter's still on althought we're in the middle of a milder spell, check out Winter Blues. Now that's what I call jazz - with a powerful rhythm that highlights young pianist Guillaume Martineau, Rémi-Jean LeBlanc's metronomic bass and Martin Auguste's driving beats.

At the heart of this winter blues, François Richard gets into some nice phrasing that sometimes recall Yussef Latteef and Frank Wess. Smart like a fox and a true artisan of the blue note, he forges his compositions like an artist. The key changes and the finesse of the structure when playing on the alto flute or the ones in C and G is something all students should listen to. Within the Quartet everybody is free to express himself, to bounce off of each other as your ears can witness on Dark Waltz, Libération, and De 7 à 8. It's probably one of the most beautiful albums of the season.

Ponctuation / Winter Blues / Libération / Une Tempête / De 7 à 8 / Dark Waltz / La Bossa à Casa Nova / Balade 2017

To listen and buy on iTunes, it's here

For more info, francoisrichard.net

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Suzi Silva - Fad'Azz

February 15, 2018

It's the time of the year when we need that sunshine, so the timing is right on for the warmth of the fado combined with jazz. For a surprise, this is quite the surprise. I didn't know young singer Suzi Silva, and this Fad’Azz will certainly help you go thru the rest of the winter. The first thing that struck me was her voice. Deep with a lot of range and the perfect dose of tenderness that will sway you with rhythms from the european continent as well as from South America. For once all the tracks make perfect sense and the first one, Fado Mestiço - Amanhã sets the mood for the rest of the album.

To the inherent swing, you can add to that the exceptional quality of the musicians surrounding the young lady, starting with the accordionist Sergiu Popa. In the same vein as the great Richard Galliano, his playing is supple with just the right touch of lightness that gives wings to the texts of the fado, which, btw, isn't always sad. Among her other musical friends, let's mention the great bow playing of bassist Olivier Babaz and the rock touch of guitarist Ivan Garzon that sometimes bring us back to Carlos Santana (O Meu Amor). Pianist Yannick Anctil plays a lot more that a simple accompaniment, and let's not forget Bruno Roy at the drums/percussions, Liberto Medeiros on the portuguese guitar and Paulo Bottas at the piano on some tracks. A well-established montrealer, Suzi Silva offers to Montrealers a beautiful poet, partly sung, partly spoken (Chanson pour une Ville) which is an invitation to redicover our streets...once the snow's gone!

Fado Mestiço - Amanhã / Ce coeur que je Garde - Fado Menor / Fado Tango Afro-Cubano / O Meu Amor Não Gosta de Fado
Chanson pour une Ville / Fleurs Silencieuses / Acreditar


To see the video of Fado Mestiço - Amanhã, it's here

To listen and buy :  https://suzi-silva.bandcamp.com/album/fadazz

For more info, http://suzi-silva.com

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Quatuor André Lachance - The Orange Challenge

February 1, 2018

Over the last few months we haven't covered many guitarists, so let's do it. From Vancouver, but originally from Lévis, I discover André Lachance, an artist of the 6-string instrument . The Orange Challenge is some fusion-rich jazz, clearly inspired by the experiences of the great Pat Metheney. Centered around some easy-listening rhythms that aren't simple André Lachance stands strong with a clear talent for uncluttered melodic lines, and is in complete symbiosis with his collegues. Of course tons of improvisations, sometimes in a closed musical space - you can feel the finely crafted compositions - The Orange Challenge requires some attentive listening.

Marking time, drummer Joe Poole smartly supports keyboardist/pianist Brad Turner and Chris Gestrin’s Moog bass, the sum of it all can sometimes bring us back to Genesis-like sounds. On nine tracks that each carry a different musical space, always influenced by the guitarist, althought Claude - a tribute to departed drummer Claude Ranger - does not recall Pat Metheny but rather John McLaughlin's Electric Guitarist. Althought The Orange Challenge has many many qualities, I'm still looking for that little special something that will make you go wow. Having a great musical technique is one thing but making the heart pound is another.

Solstice / El Gecko's Dilemma / Pavane / Claude / Life Cycle / The Orange Challenge / Vert / Critter Wonderland / Saint-Laurent

To listen and buy : https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/quatuorandrelachance

For more info, andrelachance.com

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Min Rager - Train of Thought

January 18, 2018

I admit not knowing pianist Min Rager as much as her husband Josh Rager. As it's never too late to do things right, I've been listening to this new release for the last week and it's real treat. If you're into some smart high energy jazz with no down time and well driven, this is it. On eight tracks and as always with original compositions, the young player deftly weaves a fabric of blue notes taking in the past as well as the present.

But there's more. Even if Min Rager opens up Train Of Thought with power and unexpected intricaties, let's hightlight the work of tenor saxophonist Kenji Omae, as well as bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Dave Laing. Listening to track 3, I Never Felt This Way, a very beautiful duo with the saxophonist, it made me think of the Kenny Barron/Stan Getz duo. Even if the saxophonist plays with a bit more gusto than Stan, Min's articulate and sensitive approach reminded me of Kenny Barron.

Talking about swing, you'll hear a lot of this new release. For example with Let’s Be Cool, a little jewel where the pianist expresses her love of the blues, a little bit like Duke Jordan or Bobby Timmons, while in Say What You Mean, she elegantly unfurls swing going back to Jess Stacy and Count Basie. With these cold days where you might want to hang out by the fireplace, three beautiful ballads await you. You've guessed it, we like this album so congrats to the brilliant pianist.

Train of Thought / Beautiful Journey / I Never Felt This Way / Say What You Mean / Dedicated to you / I Wish I Was There / Moonlight Dance / Let's Be Cool

To listen and buy : https://minragerquartet.bandcamp.com/releases

Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


 Annie Dominique Quintet - Rue Langevin

January 4, 2018

Tenor saxophonist and sometimes bass clarinettist, jazz woman Annie Dominique has a unique brand of jazz tinged in Montreal poetry. After a first 2015 album named Tout autour, she now releases Rue Langevin, surrounded by a solid team of young wolves. For this quintet she can count on the support of trombonist Jean-Nicolas Trottier, pianist Jonathan Cayer, bassist Sébastien Pellerin and drummer Alain Bourgeois. With this very trippy new release this women's voice takes her space on the Montreal jazz scene and is a beacon of hope.

Annie Dominique's very original compositions carry a poetic language that can sometimes brings to mind departed tenor saxman Michael Brecker. Brilliantly cultivating the art of the ensemble, she expresses a music without it being dissonant or academic. All throughout the tracks the poets and travellers that we are acclimatize our listening to the different harmonies that transpire from Rue Langevin, such as title track Rue Langevin, Unami and Cinquième dimension. There's depth here, as well as forward thinking with the Yosémite suite, for example. Sit down and get into some attentive and focused listening. Nice album so let's support it.

Rue Langevin / Cinquième dimension / Yosemite, Pt. 1 / Yosemite, Pt. 2 / Yosemite, Pt. 3 / Yosemite, Pt. 4 / Light Touch / Quelque part sur Mars / Umami

She'll be in concert Friday January 30th 9pm at the Casa del Popolo part of the Multiple Chord Music HIEMS Festival 2018


To listen and buy : https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/rue-langevin/id1271418205

For more info, anniedominique.com


Christophe Rodriguez is also jazz, classical and book columnist/blogger at the Journal de Montréal


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