Blog ›› Archive ›› By Date ›› 2000 ›› January

27 January 2000
By Mike Chamberlain in Hour (Québec), January 27, 2000

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A monumental undertaking requiring four years of research, Montréal bassist/composer Normand Guilbeault’s Riel debuted at Victoriaville in 1998 and played again at the Lion d’Or in February 1999, where it was recorded. Packaged beautifully, with an informative 72-page booklet, this is top shelf all around. A large cast of Montréal’s best musicians Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Tom Walsh, Jean René, Mathieu Bélanger, Bob Olivier and others) tells the story of the doomed and damned Metis leader, mixing Scottish and French reels and jigs, native and Metis songs, Orangemen chants, and improvisations in a passionate tour de force that is stimulating both as musical event and history lesson. 4/5

blogue@press-1647 press@1647
11 January 2000
in ImproJazz (France), January 11, 2000

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“One second is a long time in the life of a poem” writes Patrice Desbiens as an introduction to his record. In this case, the 57 minutes 41 seconds of this cd will surely extend the life of this poet’s works. Patrice Desbiens, with his dozen books published, is still very little known and read. The public knows mostly because one of his poems, Caisse pop, was recorded by Richard Desjardins, a critically acclaimed Québecer songwriter, on his latest record Boom Boom.

René Lussier wanted to record the poet telling his poems in an improvisational context. The guitarist recruited three Ambiances magnétiques collegues: Jean Derome (flutes, alto sax, bird calls), Guillaume Dostaler (synths) and Pierre Tanguay (drums). Patrice Desbiens christened this back-up band Les moyens du bord (Available means). In march 1996, they recorded a string of poems which are offered only now on this cd.

Patrice Desbiens et Les moyens du bord comprises 21 improvisations on as many poems taken here in there into Desbiens’ books. The urban lyricism of Desbiens, that makes me think of a more Montréalistic Desjardins or a slanging Jacques Prévert, is greatly accomodated by these improvised soundtracks. At times only an ambience, at other times a driving groove, the music anchors the poem into the ground by interacting with it, keeping the listener ready to catch every syllable and turning this experience into something very enjoyable (of course, if you don’t understand french, you’ll have a hard time figuring out what’s happening).

The cd is packaged in a spiraled note pad with all thepoems reproduced. This original presentation lacks practicality: the cardboard holding the cd on my copy tear on first attempt of getting the cd out.

Patrice Desbiens et Les moyens du bord has all the qualities of bridge-record, one of these albums that let a new public to enter the world of "musiques actuelles". This cd remains of an easy approach, even for the neophyte. The text gets center stage, the music only accompanies. Therefore, every fan of poetry (understanding french, that is) should jump on this release in order to discover Desbiens’ talent and the universe of improvised music. I must thank René Lussier for a giving a new life and increased exposure to Desbiens’ poetry. I only wish many will discover him as I did, by listening to this record.

blogue@press-1139 press@1139
11 January 2000
By François Couture in CFLX: Délire actuel (Québec), January 11, 2000

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“One second is a long time in the life of a poem” writes Patrice Desbiens as an introduction to his record. In this case, the 57 minutes 41 seconds of this cd will surely extend the life of this poet’s works. Patrice Desbiens, with his dozen books published, is still very little known and read. The public knows mostly because one of his poems, «Caisse pop», was recorded by Richard Desjardins, a critically acclaimed Quebecer songwriter, on his latest record Boom Boom.

René Lussier wanted to record the poet telling his poems in an improvisational context. The guitarist recruited three Ambiances magnétiques collegues: Jean Derome (flutes, alto sax, bird calls), Guillaume Dostaler (synths) and Pierre Tanguay (drums). Patrice Desbiens christened this back-up band "Les Moyens du Bord" (Available means). In march 1996, they recorded a string of poems which are offered only now on this cd.

Patrice Desbiens et les Moyens du Bord comprises 21 improvisations on as many poems taken here in there into Desbiens’ books. The urban lyricism of Desbiens, that makes me think of a more Montréalistic Desjardins or a slanging Jacques Prévert, is greatly accomodated by these improvised soundtracks. At times only an ambience, at other times a driving groove, the music anchors the poem into the ground by interacting with it, keeping the listener ready to catch every syllable and turning this experience into something very enjoyable (of course, if you don’t understand french, you’ll have a hard time figuring out what’s happening).

The cd is packaged in a spiraled note pad with all thepoems reproduced. This original presentation lacks practicality: the cardboard holding the cd on my copy tear on first attempt of getting the cd out.

Patrice Desbiens et les Moyens du Bord has all the qualities of bridge-record, one of these albums that let a new public to enter the world of "musiques actuelles". This cd remains of an easy approach, even for the neophyte. The text gets center stage, the music only accompanies. Therefore, every fan of poetry (understanding french, that is) should jump on this release in order to discover Desbiens’ talent and the universe of improvised music. I must thank René Lussier for a giving a new life and increased exposure to Desbiens’ poetry. I only wish many will discover him as I did, by listening to this record.

blogue@press-1140 press@1140
2 January 2000
By Tom Schulte in Perfect Sound (USA), January 2, 2000

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“Two saxophones shriek and two voices, haunting sirens, screech on this duet of dissonance pairing of pandemonium.”

Two saxophones shriek and two voices, haunting sirens, screech on this duet of dissonance pairing of pandemonium. Jean Derome and Joane Hétu are obviously improvising here in a tradition employed by Eugene Chadbourne, Derek Bailey, etc. Abrasive and subversive, these wicked wizards of wail put first a gateway, the lead two songs Nous perçons and Le poinçon. At this entrance they stand, a two-headed Cerebus barking fear into the fainthearted. Inside a rugged landscape of occasional firm footing gibes unexpectedly way to brass-barbed, jagged promontories. Instead of liner notes, the disc is decorated with telling child drawings of dynamic and jarring contrast. Simultaneously, Ambiances Magnétiques has released solo discs (of equal challenge) on each bizarre musician. 3/5

blogue@press-1787 press@1787
1 January 2000
By François Couture in All-Music Guide (USA), January 1, 2000

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“A successful project, a record full of ideas resisting to multiple listens. And one must point out the beautiful artwork…”

Everybody remembers some of these popular sayings found in the dictionary, short sentences presumably holding a piece of Truth. Does wisdom consist of knowing (and understanding) these sayings, or wouldn’t it be, like Diane Labrosse does, recreating them, knocking them out of their trajectory, giving them new meaning? Isn’t wisdom made in part of irreverence? Labrosse, master samplist at Ambiances Magnétiques, proposes with Petit traité de sagesse pratique (“Little treatise on practical wisdom”) her second solo album. The first, Face cachée des choses, showcased her alone in introspective pieces. This project required many guns from the Ambiances Magnétiques arsenal: Michel F Côté (percussion), Jean Derome (alto sax, flutes, birdcalls, toys), Joane Hétu (alto sax), Alexandre St-Onge (double bass, prepared bass guitar), Pierre Tanguay (drums, percussion), Martin Tétreault (turntables) and Rainer Wiens (prepared guitar).

Petit Traité de Sagesse Pratique takes the shape of a “book” grouping the 37 modernized sayings into five chapters of about ten minutes each. The sayings (in French) are all diverted from their original meaning through play of words, and would not make any sense if translated in english. If you don’t understand french, you will definitely lose a dimension of this album. But the revamped sayings are paired with musical snapshots meant to relate to determined styles (from gavotte to free jazz, symphony to medieval). These styles should be understood as inspirational sources rather than a program in themselves. The cohesion of this record is surprising: with so many tracks, it would have been easy to fire everywhere at once. Petit traité de sagesse Pratique revolves around an esthetical center consisting of a blend of sonic exploration and musical tradition. Behind the improvisations taking an important role in every snippet, one feels Labrosse’s hand firmly holding the helm and maintaining the goal. A successful project, a record full of ideas resisting to multiple listens. And one must point out the beautiful artwork, a notch above what is usually found on this label.

blogue@press-2067 press@2067
1 January 2000
By Éric Norman in JazzoSphère (France), January 1, 2000

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“La musique à la fois chatoyante, pleine de subtilité et parfois comme suspendue, effleure un hypnotisme qui nous enivre et nous délecte.”

Un duo contrebasse-batterie qui s’offre comme une rencontre que l’on imagine volontiers explosive. L’explosion résulte pourtant moins de la confrontation de ces deux instruments aux sonorités profondes que de l’intensité qui se noue peu à peu, au fil des improvisations entre les deux musiciennes. Joëlle Léandre et Danielle P. Roger ont en commun un goût pour la musique contemporaine et pour les expériences diverses et renouvelées. Ce socle leur permet de s’aventurer avec délices dans les méandres de la création improvisée. Le jeu évolue avec émotion et en échange continuel. L’attention à l’autre est ici le maître-mot. Tricotage: le titre évoque, à lui seul, l’impression laissée par l’écoute de cet album. La musique à la fois chatoyante, pleine de subtilité et parfois comme suspendue, effleure un hypnotisme qui nous enivre et nous délecte.

blogue@press-2656 press@2656