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 Susie Arioli - Spring

December 17, 2015

Here's a real nice holiday-ish gift which oozes of swing and the Golden Twenties. For her 9th CD, singer/composer Susie Arioli has kinda of taken out her best Sunday best. In a spirit that recalls the Ziegfried Follies and the Great American Songbook, she's surrounded herself with a host of musicians, all equally amazing. Ignoring her usual minimalism, we can expect some great festival concerts, the line-up is inspiring. At the helm of this sunny opus, pianist and vibes player Don Thompson with the help of trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, drummer Terry Clarke, bassist Neil Swanson and guitarist Reg Schwager. For the winds section, let's mention the exceptional presence of saxophonists Phil Dwyer, Andy Ballantyne, Shirantha Beddage and trombonist Kesley Grant.

Directed by the very intuitive John Snyder, this mini large orchestra that the departed John Kirby would've been proud of, marvelously supports the singer. Is it time that done its thing but Susie Arioli's voice is lower and less "childish" and gives new depth to : Mean To Me, Travelin’ Light, and more, the swingin' After You’ve Gone, championned by giants Sydney Bechet and Roy Eldridge. Let's highlight in this new crop, Loverboy and Can’t Say No, personal compositions of the lady. Spring is a nice success, and it will, without shattering the codes,  find a way into the hearts of a large public.

susiearioli.com

Susie Arioli will be in concert from January to March 2016 in St-Eustache, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Montréal (Feb. 11), Québec City (Feb. 19), L'Assomption, Longueuil, Gatineau, Val d'Or, St-Hyacinthe, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Laval and Terrebonne.

To find out more, consult our Outside Montreal calendar and Greater Mtl calendar

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


 Jagg - Mercure

December 3, 2015

Winner of the 2014 Jazz en Rafale New Talent Contest, Jagg is s solid and inventive quartet. Composed of trombonist Gabriel Gagnon, bassiste Antoine Pellegrin, alto sax Jules Payette and drummer Guillaume Pilote, the young band , a bit didactic, presents a brand of jazz with limitless boudaries, but maybe a bit overwritten.

After two attentive listens, let's highlight the work of the bassist, obviously influenced by departed Jaco Pastorius and the alto sax, which lacks a bit of vibrato. There's a few good ideas in this project, as well unity in the band, but it could use a bit of swing.

Even if one of the ways that today's jazzmen have to highlight themselves is to play their own compositions, that's fine, but it could also be interesting to hear one of two standards. We could seen how the quartet does on another ground than personal compositions.

To see the video of Suite no 1, 4e mouvement, filmed at the Résonance at L'OFF Jazz, click here

http://jagg.bandcamp.com/

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


 Pierre Labbé Sextet - Tromper Eustache

November 19, 2015

Here's a consistant new release that shines like a star. We're talking about jazz, of course, but with a middle eastern vibe (a bit like what Rabih Abou Khalil does), rock grooves, and the prolongation of a coltranian mind. Saxophonist, composer and flutist, Pierre Labbé presents with his friends, on Tromper Eustache, a world in fusion, like the atom.

Of course it sometimes might require some attentive listening, and maybe an open mind such as with Inouë Ouïe or Aparté.  In this homogeneity, let's mention a great cast made up of  guitarist Bernard Falaise, bassist Clinton Ryder, pianist François Bourassa, drummer Pierre Tanguay and Frank Lozano, tenor sax and clarinet.

Tromper Eustache has all the attributes of a great CD.

http://www.sacretympan.com/portfolio/tromper-eustache/

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


 Emie R Roussel Trio - Quantum - 2015 #1 CDJazz

November 5, 2015

With her recent ADISQ win for jazz record of the year, let's mention the hard work and bright ideas of young pianist Emie R Roussel. Because this is what we do, so let's support and nurture such new talents. Rooted in jazz, her father being a respected jazz pianist,  Martin Roussel, little Emie has come a long way, with a constant quest to take her compositions a bit further.

If some might hear in her music a norwegian link, we could also mention Keith Jarrett and the soul of the Jazz Messengers, Bobby Timmons.  With Quantum, funkier and livelier than than her two first albums, Emie R Roussel and her trio, made up of bassist Nicolas Bédard and drummer Dominic Cloutier, let loose and give it all they got.  We love the precision, the swing and the creative effort. A well-deserved trophy for a musician with a future.

emierroussel.com

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


 Emilie-Claire Barlow - Clear Day - 2015 #2 CDJazz

October 22, 2015

Over the years we're seen singer-songwriter Emilie-Claire Barlow climb the charts. Evolving in the languages of both Molière and Shakespeare, and with a ever-growing public, she crafts her albums like a precision watchmaker. The music of Emilie-Claire Barlow sounds great music with, like always, jazz undertones. On Clear Day, she seems  to have reached another level, in regards to the available means as well as the final product, which we hope will help her conquer new parts of the planet.

Without changing her voice, or her soft stylistic approach, she's surrounded hersefl with the Metropole Orkest (Netherlands) as well as her usual quintet including Reg Swagger (gtr), Kelly Jefferson (sax), Chris Donnely (piano) Jon Maharaj (bass) and Larnell Lewis (drums). On fourteen tracks, beautiful and tasteful, and for a public of all ages. Great arrangements that revisit : Midnight Sun, Fix You, Si j’étais un homme ( Diane Tell), Under Pressure and La Llorna, a magistral tribute to departed Lhassa De Sela.

Bravo.

emilieclairebarlow.com

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


 Trio YPG / Karen Young Sylvain Provost Normand Guilbeault - You Make Me Feel So Young

October 8, 2015

We received a little jewel which is also the comeback of singer Karen Young in the realm of standards. From the singer that has influenced many of our singers, we're rediscover the beautiful simplicity of her phrasing, her crystal-clear voice, that sometimes shimmers, and let's not forget, a encyclopedic knowledge of the blue note.

In a minimalist format, but nonetheless solid, with guitarist Sylvain Provost and bassist Normand Guilbeault, she tells us her tales of jazz with You Make Me Feel So Young. Without taking the easy road we rediscover the unknown Strange Feeling (Billy Strayhorn), the very beautiful Ask Me Now  (Thelonious Monk), a bit of Joni Mitchell : Be Cool, Tickle Toe, a classic from the Count Basie/Lester Young tandem and the great George Brassens : Mourir pour des idées.

When simplicity goes with intelligence, we salute the great singer and her accomplices. And we hope the younger crowd will discover this singer with a voice synonym of beauty.

karenyoung.org


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


 Jim Doxas Trio - Blind Leap

September 24, 2015

At the helm of the Monday night jam sessions at Upstairs, great sideman for pianist Oliver Jones, drummer Jim Doxas is a gem. For his first CD Blind Leap, he's surrounded by bassist Morgan Moore and hard-hitting pianist Paul Schrofel, in a musical ménage à trois.

Focusing unity for the benefit of his stylish drumming talent, we're in the presence of a master of style that calls to mind the polyrhythmic Philly Joe Jones. Built on a model where personal compositions are like a trigger, apart from the beautiful remake of Wayne Shorter's Fall, this Blind Leap is a grid of precision, with in backdrop, the memory of pianist Jan Jarczyk.

Melo 3
My Old Flame
Fall
Act One
Effervescence
O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
KP
Berceause pour Jan

jimdoxas.com

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


 Vera Marijt - Insight Out - 2015 #3 CDJazz

September 10, 2015

Now this is a nice surprise. From the Netherlands, pianist and composer Vera Marijt has chosen Montreal to pursue her jazz piano studies. For her apprenticeship, she's "found" drummer Andre White, pianist François Bourassa and saxophonist Rémi Bolduc. Even if touring has provided her with some experience, the science of the three jazzmen has contributed quite a bit to Insight Out.

To start if off, she's chosen Beautiful Love. This magnificent standard is played with a special touch that give a beautiful sense to the notes. Respecting the codes, she works the theme, intently listening to her collegues, including excellent bassist Mathieu McConnell-Enright. You can't deny the influences, such as Bill Evans, Bud Powell and the Keith Jarret in The Melody at Night, With You.

One by one we slowly discover her writing on six very personal compositions, a version of Cherokee (Cheeriookee) that highlights young saxophonist alto Benjamin Deschamps, as Parker-ish as ever. Let's conclude that this young and lyric pianist knows how to play with the tensions with gently force, like an iron fist in a velvet glove.

With Louis-Vincent Hamel on the drums, Steven Willem Zwanink on bass and Robbert Jan van Straalen on the drums, both on track 8.

www.veramarijt.com

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


 Samuel Bonnet - DiaspoRapsodie

August 27, 2015

Here's a project that will please both jazz and world music lovers. What a pleasure it is to discover guitarist and composer Samuel Bonnet and his group.  The savvy mix of arabic sounding harmonics, Chano Dominguez-like percussions and flamenco guitar all add up to make a great sounding band. All along these tracks we discover some funk, a very good  saxophonist/clarinetist with Yannick Rieu influences, and the universes of oud player Rabih Abouh Khalil.

We discover the finesse of flugelhorn player Joe Magnarelli, especially in the beautiful Ani Couni Chaouani and the melodic talent of the guitarist that revisits What’s Going On. More than just a nice CD, this group has something to say.

Samuel Bonnet, guitar and compositions
Bruno Lamarche, sax and clarinet
Joe Magnarelli, flugelhorn
Fraser Hollins, bass
Luques Curtis, bass
Elli Miller-Maboungo, percussions
Daniel Sadownick, percussions

http://samuelbonnetguitar.com/

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


 Frédéric Alarie - Life & Undertaking

August 13, 2015

Frédéric Alarie - Life

If you missed Frédéric Alarie's double launch at the Dièse Onze last July 17th, where the bassist presented his latest releases, now's the time to catch up. More than just some nicely done work, we're in the presence of a consistant musician that makes his bass sing on different rhythms with some very attention-driven accomplices. On Life, guitarist Sylvain Provost, on a nylon string guitar, and trumpeter Jacques Kuba Séguin, whom, all throughout these tracks, weave ideas in a intimate space.

Like and old fine wine that has matured with time, Life must be savoured, and should not be listened hastily. The three musicians evolved poetically on Ballade, a fitting title, pursuing on Falling Grace that features guitarist Sylvain Provost, and the stylings of the bassist that evokes Ron Carter's suppleness in Let It Ring, or, the bass/trumpet dialogue on Green Street. The art of the dialog, the art of the trio and the art of the solo, this new release is a real treat.

Frédéric Alarie Jacques Kuba Séguin - Undertaking

For this second release, Undertaking, we enter unchartered soundscapes and experimentation. In the ambiance of a Robert Glasper, but to be taken very cautiously, the trumpet/bass duo, sometimes electric, can give you quite a jolt, but without surprises.

In this kind of cosmic endeavour, those familiar with the adventures of bandleader Sun Ra will be in familiar surroundings, we can appreciate the music. Even if Undertaking is not in my musical realm, the extra-sensorial experience is worth the detour. To be convinced, listen to Your Higher Self which gives a good idea of the effort, often with cinematographic accents. Because this matter is intense, like molten lava, listen to Courage as well as Trust. Mixed feelings about this release, but jazz, alas, is a vast asteroid.

To find out more, click here

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


 Montreal Hard Bop Five - Montreal Hard Bop Five

July 30, 2015

Montreal Hard Bop Five were at the 2015 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and more recently just back from Mexico at the Festival Internacional de Verano in Queretaro. Modeled after drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, this collective montreal quintet is the real deal and is worth a listen. Rather than repeat the classics, not that there's anything wrong with that, these young musicians have modelised the essence of their elders, with original compositions that carry a lot of swing. To those people who think jazz is everything but accessible, treat them to this release that contains many essences of hard bop, and more.

Open it up and listen to heavy-hitting Bobby Big Wood, followed by Appolo and then Down At Dino’s, composed by great sax player, alto Dave Turner. Take it all in and keep the rhythm with young trumpeter David Carbonneau, tenor sax Cameron Wallis, author of most compostions, pianist Jonathan Cayer who pays a tribute to one of his masters Horace Silver, in Horace, bassist Fred Grenier, and, drummer Alain Bourgeois.

More than just some summer swing, this is an antidote to that post-festival depression...

To find out more, click here

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


 Annie Dominique Quintet - Tout Autour

July 16, 2015

Because there aren't that many female soloist musicians around in the Montreal / Québec jazz scene, here's an opportunity to discover a new one. Young saxophonist Annie Dominique is worth a listen, she has a form of constance with some great musical ideas. Once again, no standards on this nine track release, but personal compositions as well as many solos she gladly shares with trombone player Jean-Nicolas Trottier.

Serious jazz, some might say, with the presence of departed jazz musicians John Coltrane and certainly Michael Brecker in the background, without actually copying them or their state of mind. Étude no. 1 gives us a good idea of the intuitive talent of saxophonist Annie Dominique, just like AM, which highlights a uncanny sense of the ballad (there's some Dexter Gordon in there). Our fav track : Another Waltz. Let's also mention the essential work of the rhythm section including Jonathan Cayer at the piano, Sébastien Pellerin on bass and Éric Thibodeau at the drums.

www.anniedominique.com

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


 L'Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal - Dans la forêt de ma mémoire

July 2, 2015

There are not that many large orchestras with the soul of swing nowadays. With not as many grants at the France's Orchestre national de Jazz,  our own Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal is quite active creating, and with a lot less support and grants. Thanks to the work of many volunteers and the tireless efforts of it's president, Jacques Laurin, and the musicians, let's not forget, here's a first opus that we applaud.

Closer to a Gil Evans sound than a Basie/Ellington/Kenton trio, this well-oiled swing machine (maybe a bit too much sometimes) explores the universe of the composers. In the case, under the direction of Christine Jensen with guest trumpeter and Ingrid Jensen and for the composition, pianist Marianne Trudel, enter, dear friends, in the realm of La forêt de ma mémoire.

We're not talking about toe-tapping jazz here but rather counterpoints. Like craftsmen watchmakers, the pianist, the conductor, these highly prolific musicians as well as the guest trumpeter work the patterns and the orchestral language. Never pompous in it's essence, luckily, the ONJM is an orchestra is devoted to the music often broader than just jazz. On these tracks you'll hear sketches of Stravinsky, nuances and textures of Jimmy Giuffre, the complexity of Carla Bley et certainly a bit of the universe of departed bassist Charlie Haden and his  Liberation Orchestra. In seven sketches, Marianne Trudel and conductor Christine Jensen have performed a little miracle.

Two notable upcoming concerts of the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal :

Closing concert of the Festival de Lanaudière (Joliette), led by Mathias Rüegg, Sunday, Aug. 2nd at 2pm

At the Festival Orford (Orford), led by Christine Jensen, with Karen Young and Ingrid Jensen, Saturday, Aug. 8th at 8pm

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


 Guillaume Bouchard - Basse continue

June 18, 2015

In the column, we often focus on greater Montreal musicians and sometimes forget about musicians from beautiful Quebec City. Nonetheless, there's a lot of talent 2 hours east on Highway 20, such as bassist Guillaume Bouchard and his friends. On the theme of a commited bassist, confounding the solidity of Mingus with the fluidity of Ray Brown, our man welcomes a few key musicians, such as the underestimated saxophonist Michel Côté on this Basse continue...

As it is often lately, I guess it's the way things are done now - meaning no "standards" - the bassist gives us eleven original and very moving and compositions, steeped in some fine post-bop, with guitarist André Lachance, that sometimes reminds us of Barney Kessel. Also on this CD, François Côté on the drums and Anne Thivierge at the alto flute. So give this CD a listen and enjoy.

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


 Chantale Gagné - The Left Side Of The Moon

June 4, 2015

Having chosen the Big Apple as her new home, Montreal pianist Chantal Gagné matures well with time. For this 2nd CD sided by prestigious musicians such as Lewis Nash at the drums, Peter Washington on bass and Steve Wilson on saxophone, her discourse is intelligent, full of wisdom, with a dash of classical music (After You) that conveys another dimension to her work.

Her powerful brand of jazz has influences of modernism, in the footsteps of past musicians, and a swing that grooves. Even if saxophonist Steve Wilson is not one of my favoristes, one has to recognise all that intense and bold playing that sticks perfectly to the ideas of the pianist. The sound of  Chantal Gagné, we can vouch for this, is round and full - a bit like an older Bordeaux - and phrasing somewhat reminiscent of the late Erroll Garner as well as our Oscar Peterson. Great team sound, specially when the creative Lewis Nash sides the host with intelligence and precision.

chantalgagne.com

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


 Jonathan Turgeon Trio - Au fil des feuilles qui craquent

May 21, 2015

Here an interesting release by some innovative new talent that we'll hear more and more ; pianist Jonathan Turgeon. As it's so often nowadays no standards -- I'm beginning to think they've been banned from the new musical vocabulary -- , but rather a long and personal suite.

Poetry, one could say, that finds its essence in the Mehldau sphere of influence, with Jonathan's unique brand of swing. This Au fil des feuilles qui craquent is far from being monotonous, because our young pianist and his trio, being bassist Hugo Blouin and drummer Jean-Philippe Godbout like to juxtapose what they've learned and play well -- you gotta start somewhere -- with a profoundness of style that promises. Like his other accomplice, pianist Jérôme Beaulieu, we believe in Jonathan Turgeon. Bravo.

https://jonathanturgeon.bandcamp.com/

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


 Lisanne Tremblay - Violinization

May 7, 2015

Here's a new release, and not just any, by a violinist. Violinist Lisanne Tremblay shares the realm of jazz violin with the likes of the the omnipresent Stéphane Grappelli, Svend Admussen, the very colorful Ray Nance (Duke Ellington), as well as Jean-Luc Ponty and Didier Lockwood. From this 100% Montreal/Quebec album, surrounded by pianist Rafael Zalvidar, bassist Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and drummer Philippe Melanson, here's a few observations, after many listenings.

On this project Lisanne did not take the easiest of endeavours, introducing patterns that undeniably remind us of Jean-Luc Ponty. A master of her instrument, she presents ten original tracks that sometimes sound a bit alike. Prefering risk-taking as opposed to a "sentimentalist" approach, which is clearly to her advantage, she overuses the rough sound of the bow. Which gives the listener two choices, wanting more...or less!

lisannetremblay.com


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


 André Leroux - Synchronie-Cités - 2015 #4 CDJazz

April 23, 2015

To say sax player André Leroux has talent is a euphemism. Powerful improviser, member of Vic Vogel's Big Band and contemporary quartet Quasar, the man is a musical beast.

For the last twenty years, he's been playing his fiery brand of jazz with a lot of intensity, much like his master John Coltrane. On the eve of the next Montreal Jazz Fest, Synchronie-Cités is a powerful new release for the jazz aficionado as well as the newcomer. If the easy title brings a smile, the music, as always, is authenthic, makes some great brain music, especially if you're looking for spiritual elevation.

Don't worry, we're not talking about something like the cosmic adventures of Pharoah Sanders, but a modern brand of jazz steeped in modernism. Surrounded by a great line-up including guitarist Benoit Charest, pianist James Gelfand, trombone played Muhammad Abdul Al Khabyr, his music injected with precision, intelligence and finesse. Nine high-voltage tracks that all sound great, but let's mention Ejecta, Série Noire and Outer Space Boss.

A nice spring discovery.

To listen to Wayne Shorter's Lost at the FIJM 2013, click here

To find out more : André Leroux


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


 Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble - Dave Brubeck Tribute

April 9, 2015

I never really liked Dave Brubeck, too polite, too mainstream, but I always knew that's he was one of the great ambassadors of jazz. Respect is equally due to his alter ego, altist Paul Desmand, a man of simple yet inimitable phrases, as well as drummer Joe Morella and bassist Eugene Wright. These great musicians and their new music attracted many new fans to jazz.

This long introduction leads us to Rémi Bolduc, eminent montreal alto saxophonist, composer and university professor, who, with the help of a few accomplices set out to render a "hommage" to the founder of Time Out. A tribute such as this does not imply just replaying the music, althought you have to respect a few guidelines. First of all, the player has to get the theme just right, as well as it's unique rhythm, and convey the sense of it all. Because arrangements are important here, Rémi Bolduc chose to inject some of his science, with
his pencil, slightly arranging : Rondo A la Turk, Far More Blues, Charles Matthew Halleeluja (two obscure titles),  Everybody’s Jumpin - a Johnny Hodges trademark tune and Three To Get Ready.

Supported by pianist François Bourassa, who's got that swing, Fraser Hollins, the man with the singing bass, and drummer Dave Laing, the Brubeck machine is on track. Less opalescent that Paul Desmond and closer to Julian Cannonball Adderley (a round, edgy and tick sound that also recalls baritone saxman Pepper Adams), Rémi Bolduc whirlwinds. Adding many choruses, pushing the rhythmics, he expresses with stunning agility his own take on the master's music. Always on it's toes the rhythm section pushes the enveloppe, and I rediscover pianist François Bourassa.

Even thought there's a lack of romanticism, Rémi Bolduc and his mates have found their common ground, which is everything.

To find out more, listen to excerpts and see a few videos of the project, visit remibolduc.com


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


 John Roney - Préludes, live à la Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur

March 26, 2015

There's a lot of talent here, you'll see (or hear!). John Roney, well-known Montreal pianist has got more than one trick up his sleeve, as this new release proves it. If jazz is his first love, classic is right behind with this heartening new opus. Twelve tracks that switch from one universe to the other with so much maestria that it'll make you jealous, so precise is the playing.

So many choices, such as Prelude To A Kiss (Duke Ellington), two Gershwines with these lesser-know Préludes. From one act to the other, we switch from Debussy, Chopin (so beautiful), and the redoubtable Scriabine. So many Préludes and so many successes. It's all there, and all is said.

https://myspace.com/johnroney


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


 Samuel Blais David Liebman - Cycling

March 12, 2015

I gotta say this right off the bat, this is some heavy and powerful jazz. Premier alto sax player, Samuel Blais, who also likes to "dabble" on the baritone and soprano connects with soprano/tenor saxman David Liebman. The great man, more at ease on the soprano than the tenor, perpuates in his own personal way, the spririt of Coltrane, and must be reckoned with.

Drenched in a pool of abrasive blue notes, altist Samuel Blais's playing is on top of this imposing communion. Having some notions and interest in postmodern jazz helps understand Cycling, where the horns blow real strong. This opus deserves some devoted attention.

Compositions and arrangements by Samuel Blais and David Liebman.

With Morgan Moore on bass and Martin Auguste on the drums.

www.samuelblais.com

www.davidliebman.com

 


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


 Jean-Nicolas Trottier Trio - Acid Bunny

February 26, 2015

Premier trombonist and occasional conductor Jean-Nicolas Trottier give us all the goods with this new release. If you have a passion for the trombone - an instrument we don't hear that much off - run to your favorite record store or click here to download.

Right off the bat, let's say it, this is some powerful jazz, flirting with modernism and what sounds like, without a doubt, the best years of the great Ray Anderson. In trio with double bassist Rémi-Jean LeBlanc and drummer Rich Irwin, Jean-Nicolas submits twelve tracks on the art of the trombone, with a lot of ease. If sometimes you can feel like the intensity or the writing, it all sounds good.

 

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


 Dom Gobeil Quintette

February 12, 2015

For those who doubted the vitality of Montreal's jazz scene, here's a recent release by guitarist Dom Gobeil. No huge fireworks but a fine sounding quintet that explores different avenues on seven solid tracks, including a beautiful suite. In this case it's not the art of the trio, but the art of the quintet, a genre that's explored and that is equivalent to many interesting musical exchanges.

At the heart of it all, guitarist Dom Gobeil, with a sound sometimes reminiscent of the great Jim hall, with the ever present alto sax Samuel Blais, pianist Jonathan Cayer, drummer Éric Thobodeau and bassist Sébastien Pellerin. Listen to it in a quiet space to catch the interaction and many shining moments. Bravo!

To see "New Clave" click here


dominicgobeil.com

dominicgobeil1.bandcamp.com

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


 Marianne Trudel - La vie commence ici - 2015 #5 CDJazz

January 29, 2015

Pianist with a lot of ideas and a dynamo on the Montreal jazz scene, Marianne Trudel celebrates her nomination in the upcoming Junos in the jazz category. On La vie commence ici where she partners with trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, it all leads to a great CD where music colors and styles co-exist.

With a modernist as well as a chamber jazz feeling, you don't have to be a jazz specialist to enjoy this CD. With Jonathan Stewart on sax, Morgan Moore at the bass and Robbie Kuster on the drums, a tight ensemble that knows the ropes, and the connection with the smooth-sounding trumpeter, it all works. Bravo, Marianne.

To see "Soon" click here

 

mariannetrudel.com

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


 Marie-Claire Durand Trio - Peu de mots

January 15, 2015

For this seemingly short month of January, here's something new. I didn't know pianist, singer and composer Marie-Claire Durand and had to listen her CD music a few times to get to where she was going at. On a jazz backdrop, nine not too bad original compositions, but that won't make musical history.

The problem is not as much the rhythmic structure as her voice which seems to be looking for itself. She should have re-listened herself a few times and someone should have told her about the important musical ambiguities. 

marie-clairedurand.bandcamp.com/

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


 Rachel Therrien - Home Inspiration

January 1, 2015

Young trumpet and bugle player Rachel Therrien is one of the very few female players amongst many male players of those instruments, and that deserves some attention. For this 2nd rightly-titled project we're exposed to two of Rachel's traits, well-done work and her own compositions.

Influenced by Freddie Hubbard and most probably Ingrid Jensen, she unveils her style, softly and accessible. Within a reasonable range, her playing is a bit academic, yet right on. With some great accomplices : Benjamin Deschamps on alto sax, Charles Trudel on piano and keys, Simon Pagé on acoustic and electric bass as well as Alain Bourgeois at the drums, Rachel Therrien lays down some intoxicating content.

To see a clip of Homa on Home Inspiration, click here


www.racheltherrien.com


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


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