Carnets de voyage

Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms / Jean Derome

Inspiré et inspirant… Un album qui tient superbement la route, toutes tendances confondues… Le Devoir, Québec

… Derome is renowned for his virtuoso playing and inspired improvisations… Hour, Québec

In 1992, Jean Derome received the Freddie Stone Award for his artistic integrity and his contribution to canadian new music for the last twenty years. A composer, interpreter, multi-instrumentalist and improviser, he can be found wherever things are happening in Montréal. He is a regular member of a number of groups, mainly Évidence, Le trésor de la langue, Bruire, Les Granules (all on Ambiances Magnétiques) as well as Lars Hollmer’s Looping Home Orchestra Live 1992-93; he has also created and recorded Confitures de gagaku (released on Victo label).

Not content of this already crowded track record, we are here presented “Carnets de voyage,” the first recording of Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms, recorded in concerts around Montréal in March 94. This electrifying CD bears witness to the extraordinary creativity of the Dangereux Zhoms and the amounts of pleasure these excellent musicians have playing together. The 11 pieces comprising Carnets de Voyage were all written by Jean Derome, in trains and hotel rooms, airports and planes, during various Canadian and European tours with Fred Frith, René Lussier and Lars Hollmer.

This item is also included in the 1994-96 box set (AM 901).

CD (AM 032)

  • Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
  • AM 032
  • 1995
  • UCC 771028103225
  • Total duration: 69:18
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 95 g

On the web

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Some recommended items
In the press


Vincent Lecoeur, Octopus, no. 27, March 1, 2004

La critique internationale s’est beaucoup intéressée à ce volume enregistré en concert en mars l996 à Montréal. La basse de Pierre Cartier imprime quelque chose de beaucoup plus rock que les autres compositions de Jean Derome (saxophones et flutes), mais le désordre qui s’en dégage est à rapprocher en plus simple des prestations de Keep The Dog, groupe de tournée de Fred Frith.

A Gift Idea: Expand Someone’s Horizons

François Couture,, November 25, 2003

The Holidays are closing in. Are you wondering what gifts to buy this year? You’re looking for the original gift, the one that will surprise and please? Why not expand the musical horizons of a loved one, a colleague at work, or a cousin you haven’t seen since last Christmas? Here’s my highly personal selection of gift ideas to introduce someone (or yourself, you’re allowed to indulge from time to time!) to the wonderful world of “musique actuelle.”

That good ol’ song

It may seem a bit easy, but everyone likes a good song. That said, we don’t all have the same definition of what a good song is. And the artists in DAME’s catalog take some liberties with this format — that’s what makes things exciting. But Geneviève Letarte’s Chansons d’un jour will please anyone looking for songs with intelligent, accessible melodies and poetic lyrics. The soft melancholy of Chants des adieux, chants de la solitude will profoundly move dreamers in search of a different voice (Lou Babin’s, irresistible).

You don’t understand French? The lyrics of Jerry Snell’s album Life in the Suicide Riots will make you think hard about the world we live in. And the chugging guitar riffs of André Duchesne ’s Locomotive will catch the attention of any rock fan, even one deaf to French. Speaking of rock, the deconstructed rock of the all-female group Justine can keep you busy for a while, lyrics or no lyrics. Their first album (Suite) is a powerful mixture of progressist rock, while their second Langages fantastiques leans more toward improvised songs. If you want a taste of what songwriting avant-garde artists can come up with, try the compilation album Chante! 1985-2000, a wide and wild selection of unusual songs.

Party time

A time for celebrating, letting off steam, and disobedience, the party when applied to music can give way to a distortion of admitted rules. L’Orkestre des pas perdusinjects a new form of circus life into fanfare music, an infectious R ’n’ B (rhythm ’n’ brass, of course) that will refresh any parade. Its cousin Les Projectionnistes (both bands are led by Claude St-Jean) trades circus for rock and the brass section transforms from funny fanfare to frenetic funk. Taking a different approach, the Fanfare Pourpour leaves the official parade attire behind to favor the spontaneity of a street fanfare. It’s music for “everyone” (Tout le monde, the title of their first album) without dropping to the lowest common denominator.

In a similar spirit, but adding an East-European flavor and an incredible dose of energy is the group Interférence Sardines, which features two members of the neo-trad group Les Batinses. Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms walks a jazzier road, but its frivolous side easily becomes delightfully exuberant. The group’s three albums are all highly recommended, but Carnets de voyage remains an excellent place to start. And I find the same spirit of excessiveness and raw emotion in La boulezaille (Pierre Langevin and Pierre Tanguay) and Plinc! Plonc! (Jean Derome and Pierre Tanguay), two albums where world music, jazz and free improvisation collide.

And to boldly go where few have gone before

Maybe you would like to go further and hook someone on a kind of “musique actuelle” that is more daring and abstract. Here are a few key albums from DAME’s catalogue in improvised and electronic music.

Martin Tétreault is one of the most fascinating experimental artists right now. His technique at the turntable spins 45 questions per minute. His recent album with Diane Labrosse, Parasites, puts disquieting quiet sounds under the microscope. And Studio — Analogique — Numérique, his fresh collaboration with the Japanese mastermind Yoshihide Otomo, proposes cutting-edge sonic research in very original packaging: a box set of three 3” CDs.

A pillar of the avant-garde music scene since the early ‘70s, Fred Frith remains the favorite of many connoisseurs. The two albums by the Fred Frith Guitar Quartet (with René Lussier, Nick Didkovsky and Mark Stewart) are essential listens. DAME also distributes the titles released by Frith’s own Fred Records.

One of the first groups from the DAME stables to have explored electroacoustic improvisation, the Klaxon Gueule trio revels in noisy textures and demanding pleasures. Their last two albums Muets and Grain met critical acclaim. And I also want to mention the Ohmix compilation album, a daring electronic project where select artists (including Martin Tétreault, David Kristian, John Oswald, Terre Thaemlitz, and Ralf Wehowsky) remix the albums of the label Avatar.

Finally, instead of sending out the usual Christmas cards, consider the sound post cards produced by the label Ouïe-Dire. These are regular post cards accompanied by 3” CDs from French experimental artists. And happy Holidays!


Mario Cloutier, Le Devoir, October 13, 1995
Inspiré et inspirant… Un album qui tient superbement la route, toutes tendances confondues…


Natasha Gauthier, Hour, October 12, 1995
… Derome is renowned for his virtuoso playing and inspired improvisations…


Maurizio Comandini, All About Jazz Italy, October 12, 1995

Il saxofonista canadese Jean Derome è da sempre al centro di progetti interessanti che spaziano da situazioni di musica d’avanguardia più legata alla musica contemporanea che non al jazz, a situazioni di appassionata dedizione al repertorio di Thelonious Monk (per leggere le recensioni dei suoi due dischi con il gruppo Évidence, Live à la Casa e Musique de Thelonious Monk clicca qui e qui).

In questo caso lo troviamo alle prese con il suo sestetto Dangereux Zhoms,impegnato in undici brani tutti composti da Derome durante le tournée, sui treni,nelle stazioni, negli aeroporti, sugli aerei. Di qui l’inevitabile titolo che cita i biglietti del viaggiatore.

La musica si staglia con grande forza in una dimensione che prende un po’ dalla musica creativa, un po’ dal rock progressivo, un po’ dal jazz. Un possibile apparentamento potrebbe essere rappresentato da certi gruppi inglesi dei primi anni settanta, ma una parte di rilevo, nelle fonti di ispirazione, dobbiamo riconoscerla anche alla musica creativa e insofferente che si sviluppava, nei primi anni novanta, nella scena downtown neyorchese che ruotava attorno alla Knitting Factory (pensiamo ad esempio ai Lounge Lizard del periodo di mezzo, quando alla chitarra era presente il bravissimo David Tronzo).

Gli intrecci timbrici fra l’aggressiva chitarra elettrica dell’ottimo René Lussier e il trombone gorgogliante di Tom Walsh sono uno dei punti di forza di questa formazione, ma non mancano le occasioni per apprezzare il contributo del tastierista Guillame Dostaler e dei due ritmi, Pierre Cartier al basso elettrico e Pierre Tanguay alla batteria. Due ritmi abituati a suonare con Derome anche in altri progetti e quindi molto ben inseriti all’interno di questo progetto.

Si parte con una sorta di finto blues (En culottes courtes, on gèle) che chiarisce subito le intenzioni ed il clima. Su un fondale dominato da un organo minaccioso si scatenano gli scatarramenti del trombone che si intrecciano con le bordate iper-elettriche della chitarra e con le frasi angolari del sax. L’elettricità è densa e pervade ogni spazio, rendendo la musica scoppiettante di energie che si disperdono nello spazio. Seguono due suite (ognuna composta da 4 brani) che portano via circa cinquanta minuti appassionati e variegati (per esempio ascoltate il divertente, ma allo stesso tempo strano, Calypso che chiude la prima suite, con quella frase di pianoforte che richiama il ritmo di base, mentre la musica attorno va per i fatti propri) e ancora due brani ‘indipendenti’ che chiudono degnamente questo ottimo album.

… cinquanta minuti appassionati…