Blog

3 May 1996
By François Couture in All-Music Guide (USA), May 3, 1996

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“Leader Claude St-Jean has succeeded in creating a new sound somewhere between fanfare marches, jazz-funk and avant-garde stylings.”

L’Orkestre des Pas Perdus’ first CD was released in 1996 on Ambiances Magnétiques, a label devoted to avant-garde music. T’auras pas ta pomme (the phrase itself means very little, it is used as an onomatopoeic expression for a drum roll) presented a very original recipe. Leader Claude St-Jean, a trombone player, has succeeded in creating a new sound somewhere between fanfare marches, jazz-funk and avant-garde stylings. The instrumentation of trumpet, trombone, two saxophones, sousaphone and drums can pack a lot of energy into four-minute tunes. Most pieces follow the fanfare-funk trail and, to some extent, are interchangeable: a groovy beat, a tutti riff, horn cues and solos. The music gets close to Maneige on La marche à Marie B. thanks to a very pied-piperesque piccolo melody. Elements of dissonance and free improvisation are integrated into La salle des pas perdus, but T’auras pas ta pomme is mostly one hot lick after another. The last piece, Acide cirque, takes the band sound’s into circus music. L’Orkestre des Pas Perdus’ follow-up album Maison douce maison will be more accessible and focused than this one.

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