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Chansons de la belle espérance Pierre Cartier

Top 5 disques de l’année 2006, Délire actuel, CFLX FM, Québec

Inspiré par les standards de jazz, Pierre Cartier aborde le thème de l’amour. Donnant libre cours au lyrisme qu’une telle quête appelle, il conjugue la voix de poètes du Québec à l’énergie du jazz actuel. Après la solennité de Chansons de Douve et le périple initiatique de «Dis, Blaise…» chanson du Transsibérien, Pierre Cartier entouré de sa bande propose Chansons de la belle espérance, un album de chansons de jazz qui conjugue la voix de poètes québecois à l’énergie du jazz actuel. Il sÈest inspiré de toutes ces chansons d’amour qui allaient devenir les «standards» des musiciens de jazz et dont l’archétype français pourrait être le célèbre Les feuilles mortes de Kosma et Prévert.

L’artiste parle ainsi de son projet: «J’ai voulu pour ma part faire des chansons à la manière de celles que chantait Billie Holiday, avec des paroles qui parlent d’amour et des solos tout autour. J’ai cherché chez les poètes d’ici les mots pour le dire. Car il s’agit pour moi, de mettre en relation des textes substantiels avec une certaine vérité de la musique: des chansons certes, mais des chansons confrontées à la force et la spontanéité de la musique».

Chansons de la belle espérance

Pierre Cartier

La presse en parle

  • Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no 12:35, 1 mars 2008
    Una voce evanescente e calda. Sontuosi panneggi bassistici. Jazz crepuscolare. Insomma, quando ascoltai per la prima volta Pierre Cartier fu la classica Rivelazione…
  • BLG, Downtown Music Gallery, 1 juin 2007
    I caught Pierre Cartier’s ensemble performing this music on two occasions, once at Guelph and more recently at the Victo Fest. I liked it the first time, but found it even better the second time around.
  • Zdenek Slaby, Unijazz, 1 décembre 2006
  • Tiina Kiik, The WholeNote, no 12:2, 1 octobre 2006
    Now that was good!
  • Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no 101, 1 octobre 2006
  • Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no 69, 1 septembre 2006
  • Andrew Choate, Signal to Noise, no 43, 1 septembre 2006
    Their jazz is stimulating, yet mild and totally pleasant.
  • Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 538, 9 août 2006
    … a true jazz album. And a very nice one too.
  • François Couture, AllMusic, 1 juillet 2006
    But in the end, and even though these poems rank among the best in Quebec literature, these songs will move you, whether you understand them or not.
  • Kurt Gottschalk, Coda Magazine, no 328, 1 juillet 2006
  • Alain Brunet, La Presse, 3 juin 2006
    Du bassiste, compositeur et chanteur Pierre Cartier, se dégage un lyrisme hors du commun.
  • Alain Brunet, La Presse, 23 mai 2006
    … un homme qui ne manque pas de lyrisme.

Canzoni per sperare: la crepuscolare francesità di Pierre Cartier

Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no 12:35, 1 mars 2008

Una voce evanescente e calda. Sontuosi panneggi bassistici. Jazz crepuscolare. Insomma, quando ascoltai per la prima volta Pierre Cartier fu la classica Rivelazione e, da qui, l’imperativo (kantianamente) categorico di ascoltare il più possibile del musicista/cantante/bassista del Canada francofono e membro degli ottimi Dangereux Zhoms di Jean Derome.

Già perché Pierre Cartier Chansons de la belle espérance — Ambiances Magnétiques 2006 63:43 è davvero un disco affascinante grazie a quell’impasto ostinatamente melodico che Pierre riesce ad estrarre da sei testi poetici, uno dei quali firmato niente di meno che da Guillaume Apollinaire. Fin dall’iniziale Dédicace de la belle espérance si può godere della capacità di Pierre di saper declinare la forma canzone in contesto avant-jazz: undici minuti di poesia purissima dove il sax di Jean Derome disegna ampie parabole assecondato dal delicato interplay tra il trombone di Tom Walsh e la viola di Jean René. Un’atmosfera che può essere facilmente rintracciata anche nelle tracce successive: dalla quiete di Plus belle que les larmes guidata dalle percussioni arabescate di Pierre Tanguay e dagli arpeggi armonici della chitarra di Bernard Falaise fino all’ammiccante deja-vu di Il nous aurait fallu (unico brano in cui Cartier scrive anche il testo). E così La chanson de Marie dalle arcane cadenze di danza etnica, l’incontaminata fragranza di Portrait, la sinuosa Figure d’éternité e, per finire, l’intricato tessuto armonico di Mirabeau.

Risalendo il Fiume del Tempo mi sono poi imbattuto nel più ambizioso Pierre Cartier «Dis, Blaise…» chanson du Transsibérien cd1 49:38, cd2 37:54 AM 2002 dove il musicista di Montréal si confronta con La Prose du transsibérien et de la petite Jehanne de France, poema composto da Blaise Cendrars nel 1913. L’opera presenta tutti gli elementi della poetica cartierana anche se l’elemento jazz appare più in sottofondo a favore di un’opzione oscillante tra il lied e la musica da camera di stampo tonale/novecentesco. Il risultato è, comunque, ragguardevole con le uniche riserve di una certa prolissità e qualche forzatura nella resa melodica dei testi di Cendrars. Di grande impatto il prologo En ce temps-là con quella sua repentina mutazione da sofferto lied a jazz elettrico di vago sapore post-davisiano così come le timbriche sospese di Si j’étais peintre.

Continuando ad assecondare le sue “ansie letterarie”, esattamente un decennio fa, il bassista canadese pubblica Pierre Cartier Chansons de Douve cd1 55:48 cd2 43:10 AM 1998 su testi di Yves Bonnefoy. Per il sottoscritto è stata una piacevole sorpresa scoprire inaspettate contiguità zehuliane nell’inaugurale Je te voyais, quasi quindici minuti di inquietanti cromatismi para-magmatici giocati su di una sincopata sezione ritmica dove l’impasto vocale di Angèle Trudeau e Noëlla Huet (rispettivamente soprano e mezzo-soprano) e le cadenze da big band impresse dai fiati di Jean Denis Levasseur, Ivanhoe Jolicœur, Jean Derome, Sylvain Jacob e Tom Walsh trovano una base sicura. Ma il resto dell’opera non è da meno puntando su di una musicalità rarefatta ed essenziale (Présence exacte, Vrai corps, Mais que se taise) non scevra da certi riferimenti minimalisti (Le seul témoin 1) e pre-barocchi (Vrai corps, Douve parle (passacaille)).

L’ultima speranza è che ci sia un tempo per poter ascoltare le sue tre opere più lontane nel tempo: Les fleurs du tapis (1996), Chanson du fil (1989) e Dirigeable (1987).

Una voce evanescente e calda. Sontuosi panneggi bassistici. Jazz crepuscolare. Insomma, quando ascoltai per la prima volta Pierre Cartier fu la classica Rivelazione…

Review

BLG, Downtown Music Gallery, 1 juin 2007

Inspired by jazz standards, Pierre Cartier tackles the theme of love. With all the lyricism such a quest deserves, he combines the voice of Quebec’s poets with the energy of new jazz. […] I caught Pierre Cartier’s ensemble performing this music on two occasions, once at Guelph and more recently at the Victo Fest. I liked it the first time, but found it even better the second time around. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Mr. Cartier singing on all of these pieces, something I didn’t know he did, after hearing him play some great electric jazz bass with Jean Derome in the past. For this disc, he has put together a truly fine Canadian sextet, all either leaders or at least great veteran players on their own. It is a unique frontline with alto sax or flute, trombone, viola and electric guitar with Cartier’s charming voice at the center. There is something quite lovely, melancholy and touching about the sound of Cartier’s voice, as well as the music surrounding his voice. Although I only know a small amount of French, there is still a universal feeling that reverberates at the center of these songs. What stands out is the various solos from Jean Derome (alto sax), Tom Walsh (trombone), Jean Rene (viola) and Bernard Falaise (guitar), that are an extension of the feeling generated within each song. It is the most lyrical playing I’ve heard these men, who are often associated with more “progressive” types of music. At times, the arrangements are quite crafty and rather progressive in more subtle ways. No doubt that some folks will complain of having to listen to Cartier’s most affective and often forlorn voice, yet I find that it often rings true and touches something quite human in all of us who can still be moved by the sound of the human voice reaching inside and touching our hearts. Whenever I get close to cringing at the occasional corniness, one of those cats takes a solo that makes me smile and feel good to be alive.

I caught Pierre Cartier’s ensemble performing this music on two occasions, once at Guelph and more recently at the Victo Fest. I liked it the first time, but found it even better the second time around.

Review

Tiina Kiik, The WholeNote, no 12:2, 1 octobre 2006

“Now that was good!” These are my first thoughts after listening to Pierre Cartier’s release of self-described “French love songs”. Cartier’s compositions set to Quebec poetry, his bass playing, his own lyrics, and his singing (especially the endearing way he struggles to capture some of the high notes) combine to make this musically intriguing disc fun to behold. The excellent band is comprised of some of Montréal’s finest jazz performers — Jean Derome on alto sax and flutes, Jean René on viola, Tom Walsh on trombone, Bernard Falaise on guitar and Pierre Tanguay on drums.

The seven selections have elements of both jazz and musique actuelle but also encompass a variety of musical styles. An almost Las Vegas style sentiment surfaces in Il nous aurait fallu while La chanson de Marie is almost simultaneously an Irish jig and an Eastern European dance. My favourite, Mirabeau, using a text of Guillaume Apollinaire, begins in a fugal manner, then moves more upbeat, and closer to the end almost becomes a 1970s rock anthem with its screeching guitar solo. Cartier’s vocals are the glue that holds the works together throughout.

The bilingual French and English liner notes describe Cartier’s ideas behind each piece, though my high school French leads me to wish the lyrics also had an English translation. This is a moot point however — the music would be a welcome backdrop to any drive in the country or dinner affair. I’ll leave the final words to Pierre Cartier — “And if we may say that sometimes love is blind, how could we ever imagine love being deaf?” Touché!

Now that was good!

Recensione

Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no 101, 1 octobre 2006

Cartier canta l’amore, nelle sue ramificazioni incarnite. Tra gli autori: Apollinaire, Pierre Perrault, Gaston Miron. Si ispira agli standard del jazz, alle Broadway love songs, ad Autumn Leaves, ma soprattutto alla malincolia della canzone di Jacques Prévert, Les feuilles mortes. Sceglie autori e lingua francese; e chissà, sarà pure una scelta politica, un corollario emotivo a Le trésor de la langue. Il gruppo di musicisti che lo accompagna è straordinario: Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay, Bernard Falaise, Jean René, Tom Walsh. Se Il nous aurait fallu, attraversata dallo struggente trombone di Walsh, ha l’appeal del classico “amore perduto” e s’appiccica addosso, ancor più sconvolgente è la capacità di Cartier di penetrare i testi con musica e voce, facendo germinare melodie che si diramano attraverso lo splendore esecutivo del quintetto (sic). Sia quando la metrica e la struttura sono propriamente jazz (Dédicace de la belle sspérance), sia quando fanno eco alla ballata arcaizzante, nelle cadenze della viola di René e del flauto di Derome (La chanson de Marie). Ampiezza di respiro e ricchezza interpretativa della musica, che non vedono soluzione di continuità tra il canto di Cartier e il solo di chitarra di Falaise (Portrait), tra l’impasto orchestrale e il passaggio solistico. È un dilagare sentimentale, come nei dodici minuti di Mirabeau: languoroso tema quasi intessuto di sublime saudade da inconscio collettivo. (7,8/10)

Disques

Pierre Durr, Revue & Corrigée, no 69, 1 septembre 2006

Associés au début des années 80 au sein de Conventum, membres fondateurs du collectif québécois Ambiances Magnétiques et tous deux en rupture de ban, André Duchesne et René Lussier se retrouvent ici associés dans une chronique commune. Non pas parce que leur parcours fut longtemps commun, mais parce que les deux guitaristes, chacun de leur côté, se tournent vers la chanson. Pour le premier, il s’agit plutôt d’un retour, plus de vingt ans après le “temps des bombes”. […]

André Duchesne reprend le monde là où il l’a laissé au milieu des années 80, et la situation n’a pas véritablement changé. Constat plutôt amer d’un monde toujours en proie aux “bruits de guerre” certes, mais aussi aux tragiques “faits-divers” locaux, laissant à peine quelques ouvertures plus optimistes avec quelques titres plus humoristiques (Le vieux matou, On est dans la merde). L’accompagnement instrumental (André Duchesne, à la guitare et au piano, est épaulé par Jean Derome, flûtes et saxes, Pierre Tanguay, batterie et Patrick Hamilton à la basse électrique) oscille, selon les pièces, entre hargne, vigueur et nonchalance, privilégiant l’efficacité à l’expérimentation sonore. […]

Bassiste de son état, Pierre Cartier est lui un familier de l’univers de la chanson. Après les Chansons de Douve, puis de celles du “transsibérien”, voici celles de la “belle espérance”. Son propos, ici, est de transcrire certains poèmes québécois (mais aussi Apollinaire) évoquant notamment l’amour, en un jazz vivant et énergique. Le résultat fait preuve de subtils arrangements, toutefois dominés par des approches langoureuses, dues aussi bien à l’alto de Jean René ou au jeu discret de la guitare de Bernard Falaise.

Review

Andrew Choate, Signal to Noise, no 43, 1 septembre 2006
Their jazz is stimulating, yet mild and totally pleasant.

Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 538, 9 août 2006

With Ellen’s Bar guitarist Berthiaume delivers his third album for Ambiances Magnétiques. He debuted with Soshin, a free improvised record with duos with Derek Bailey and Fred Frith. His second one was also a free improvised record with some young musicians of Berthiaume’s generation. For Ellen’s Bar Berthiaume formed a trio with Pierre Tanguay on drums and Michel Donato on bass. No free improvised explorations this time, but a true jazz album. And a very nice one too. Nicely grooving from beginning to the end. Tanguay and Donato turn out to be perfect partners for Berthiaume who does some nice solowork with great control. Most pieces are the same in mood and tempo, not fast, not too slow. But always very captivating. No loose ends on this one.

Pierre Cartier also returns for his newest cd to the classic jazz period. With Jean Derome (sax and flutes), Jean René (viola), Tom Walsh (trombone), Bernard Falaise (guitar) and Pierre Tanguay (drums), Pierre Cartier (voice and bass) offers a new collection of jazz-inspired songs. As in earlier song cycles Cartier uses poems from diverse french-speaking poets. For his new album, he choose poems from Québécois poets (Michel Garneau, Gaston Miron, Pierre Perrault, Paul-Marie Lapointe), plus one by Apollinaire and another one by himself. To be more precise, for this new cycle of songs Cartier sought inspiration by jazz standards and Broadway love songs. Nevertheless his songs have a definitely french flavor, and not that typical american character of the predecessors that Cartier inspired. They are for example not so smooth, because Cartier has his very own way of placing accents in his singing style that is sometimes close to dissonance. Most ballads continue in their own slow tempo giving plenty of room for nice solowork by Derome, Walsh and the others.

… a true jazz album. And a very nice one too.

Review

François Couture, AllMusic, 1 juillet 2006

Chansons de la belle espérance is Pierre Cartier’s third song cycle, his second with this line-up and his most achieved work to date. The bassist’s intention was to produce a set of love songs in continuity with the French jazz standards. But Cartier being the unique artist that he is, the resulting music outgrows its original concept. What Cartier offers here is a delightful set of moving songs anchored in jazz ballad, Baroque counterpoint, (extremely well controlled) avant-jazz dissonances, and improbable melodies. Yes, improbable, because the man has a very personal sense of melody favoring unusual intervals and a certain solemnity that inscribes this album in direct filiation with «Dis, Blaise…», his previous effort. Supporting Cartier is the equivalent of an Ambiances Magnétiques All-Star band, with Jean Derome (sax and flutes), Jean René (viola), Bernard Falaise (guitar) and Pierre Tanguay (drums), all brilliantly executing and extrapolating on Cartier’s scores. Highlights include Dédicace de la belle espérance and its striking melody that immediately sets the tone for the whole album; the lament La chanson de Marie, the song coming closest to the plain chant stylings of «Dis, Blaise…»; and the devastatingly beautiful Mirabeau, the pinnacle of Cartier’s songwriting to this date. Portrait, more overtly jazzy, is the only weaker track on the album, and only because it sticks too close to the artist’s original idea. Cartier had based his previous two projects on the works of French poets (Yves Bonnefoy for Chansons de Douve, Blaise Cendrars for «Dis, Blaise…» chanson du Transsibérien). This time, he selected poems from a number of Québécois poets (Michel Garneau, Gaston Miron, Pierre Perrault, Paul-Marie Lapointe), plus one by Apollinaire and another by himself — a first. English-speaking listeners can rely on Cartier’s short analysis of each poem to get the gist of it. But in the end, and even though these poems rank among the best in Quebec literature, these songs will move you, whether you understand them or not. Cartier’s soft, fragile tone and Gregorian solemnity probably make him a case of love-him-or-hate-him; honestly, this reviewer would not know. Highly recommended.

But in the end, and even though these poems rank among the best in Quebec literature, these songs will move you, whether you understand them or not.

Disques

Alain Brunet, La Presse, 3 juin 2006
Du bassiste, compositeur et chanteur Pierre Cartier, se dégage un lyrisme hors du commun.

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