Plinc! Plonc!: Live aux Soirées de musique fraîche

Jean Derome, Pierre Tanguay

… captivating entertainment… Cadence, USA

… the two musicians listen very closely to each other to make every performance worthwile. KindaMuzik, Netherlands

Jean Derome and Pierre Tanguay—two masters of improvisations, two maniacs of music, two crackpots of invention—seem to be doing absolutely everything in this plink-plonk festival short of getting up and dancing to their own music. A significant and essential testimony about improvised music and the joy Jean Derome and Pierre Tanguay experience when playing together.

CD (AM 092)

  • Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
  • AM 092
  • 2001
  • UCC 771028109227
  • Total duration: 52:56
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 95 g

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In the press


Michael Rosenstein, Cadence, no. 28:3, March 1, 2002

Montréal-based reed player Jean Derome and drummer Pierre Tanguay have their fingers in so many projects it is hard to keep track ot them all. They jump from film scores to music for dance programs; from theatrical game pieces to politicized compositions; from Monk tributes to rock-tinged throw-downs. Rather than seeming disjointed or fractured, in their musical world all of these elements jostle up against each other with abandon. This live duet concert captures the two in a set that flows from free Jazz to skewed folk and hits all points in between. Though the playing can be fierce and frenzied, a sense of playful hijinks is never too far away. The title tune alone unfolds with the variety of many whole CDs. Things start out with a torrid burst of tenor flurries over churning drums steeped in the free Jazz tradition, morphs into a skewed duet of birdcalls and hand percussion, slides into a funky, honking R&B vamp and ends up with Derome’s fife dancing a twittering jig over Tanguay’s pattering percussion. In many of Derome’s larger, more tightly composed projects, it is easy to lose track of what a strong reed player he is, but here, his playing is laid bare. He assuredly moves from muscular free blowing to melodic sections full of lilting beauty to antic cavorting with a fluid sense of structural flow. Tanguay is the perfect sparring partner matching Derome’s energy and wit with split-second timing and response. The two can flip free skronk scat duets where their off-the-wall vocals trade percussive riffs like drunken tabla players and then jump to a skewed reading of Monk’s Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are that staggers and struts with a joyful energy. Though it seems like things can fall apart into manic mayhem at any moment, the two always maintain a dramatic animation that propels the improvisations along right up until their final duet on Jew’s Harps. There is no doubt that being at this concert would have been a night of captivating entertainment but the release does a noble job of capturing the proceedings for those of us who couldn’t make it.

… captivating entertainment…


Bas Ickenroth, KindaMuzik, October 22, 2001

Modern free jazz. Both men are multi-instrumentalists, but focus mostly on saxophone (Derome) and drums (Tanguay). Big musicians in the improv scene, and the collaborations with other big names like Joane Hétu and Fred Frith are countless. Together they are performing for years, covering everything between free jazz, improv, folk tunes, and even dancing on their own tunes. This album is a live recording from a performance played at “Soirées de musique fraiche” in Québec, Canada. Most of the time the music stays in free jazz territory, but the not chaotic, playing-all-over-each-other kind. No, it’s mostly quiet and peaceful, even meditative, and the two musicians listen very closely to each other to make every performance worthwile. This is not really difficult music, for they managed to make their free jazz approach fairly accessible and light. Don’t be suprised when sudden scatting by Tanguay appears, or when Derome’s flute plays some kind of folky tune, or when they suddenly subside into more traditional blues. Still, everything is pure improvisation here, but it’s remarkable how well these people know each other musically.

… the two musicians listen very closely to each other to make every performance worthwile.


Michele Anelli, All About Jazz Italy, October 22, 2001

Plinc! Plonc! Pierre TanguayJean Derome (Ambiances Magnetiques — Canada — 1997) Registrato nel Quebec alle Soirees de Musique Fraiche il CD vede in azione il fiatista Jean Derome e il percussionista Pierre Tanguay. Entrambi già presenti da tempo nel catalogo della Ambiances Magnetiques e fautori di molte collaborazioni con artisti come René Lussier e Chris Cutler. In quest’opera il duo dà vita ad una variegata gamma musicale che trova terreno comune negli stilemi del free-jazz arrivando anche a proporre Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are di Thelonius Monk. Sono quasi diciassette i minuti di Plinc! Plonc! che aprono il CD. Ad un furioso inizio con Tanguay impegnato sui tom e il rullante soltanto, tralasciando i piatti, in modo da creare un tappeto percussivo quasi tribale, concentrato sui suoni bassi, si contrappone un finale in perfetta calma che vede Derome in quasi solitudine al soprano. È con Djuni che si raggiunge un perfetto equilibrio tra i due. Derome apre il pezzo con un assolo particolarmente ispirato, dal sapore notturno. Indugiando sulle note, centellinando nelle scale con un tocco davvero particolare dà vita ad una situazione lirica e rilassata, su cui Tanguay interviene con suoni delicati che si incastrano perfettamente nella trama sonora.

In Casse-Cou, terzo pezzo, Derome abbandona momentaneamente il sax per il flauto traverso. Anche con quest’altro strumento, il musicista dimostra una grande creatività ed un’ottima padronanza. Brano, questo, particolarmente astratto rispetto agli altri, molto vicino alle esperienze che furono di Eric Dolphy, ma comunque in grado di ritagliarsi un proprio spazio e una propria personalità. Con Zuripari, i due ritornano per certi aspetti agli stilemi del primo brano, qui però estremamente sincopato ed aggressivo.

Nell’ultima traccia vengono abbandonati gli strumenti e il duo diviene protagonista di un pezzo, forse, cabarettistico, con schiacciapensieri e voci alterate. Brano, che, probabilmente avremmo potuto maggiormente apprezzare nella performance dal vivo, per via della mancanza della componente visiva. Un’opera, comunque, decisamente interessante e umana, caratteristica questa difficilmente riscontrabile in molte uscite di musica improvvisata, più o meno derivante dal jazz.

Un’opera, comunque, decisamente interessante e umana…


Irving Bellemead, Splendid E-Zine, July 30, 2001

This disc was recorded live in Quebec in 1997, with Jean Derome on saxophones, flute and various small wind instruments and Pierre Tanguay on drums, voice and percussion. Most of the pieces seem to have a mix of composed and improvised parts. The vibe is generally light and even silly at times, although that’s not meant to imply anything about the level of playing; Derome and Tanguay are both sensitive, dynamic players with enough range to pull off the lighter stuff without looking like lightweights. And when it’s time to squeal, well, they can do that too! The mix of composed and improvised sections is this disc’s main asset; the tunes pull you in and help you keep track of where you are, while the spazz-out sections keep things from getting too Kenny G (although Derome’s sax veers dangerously close to lite-jazz a couple of times during Djuni). I imagine that these tracks would be a lot more fun live than on CD, as is often the case — particularly given this duo’s good natured energy and dynamic playing style. They seem to play at lots of jazz festivals, so check them out if you can.

Derome and Tanguay are both sensitive, dynamic players…


Marc Chénard, La Scena Musicale, no. 6:8, May 1, 2001

Flûtiste de formation, Jean Derome est également connu comme saxophoniste (alto surtout, quoiqu’il se sert aussi du baryton et du soprano) et bricoleur sonore tous azimuts, comme l’attestent ses multiples bidules trafiqués (appeaux, porte-voix…). Porte-étandard du mouvement des musiques actuelles au Québec, ce musicien s’est constitué un langage personnel qui recoupe ses multiples intérêts (rock, bruitisme, contemporain et… jazz). Musicien ludique par ailleurs, il aime faire éclater les choses, d’autant plus lorsqu’il se retrouve sur scène avec ses proches collaborateurs, appartenant, comme lui, au collectif Ambiances Magnétiques. De ces derniers, le batteur-percussionmste Pierre Tanguay est un acolyte de longue date et il a appuyé Derome dans tous les contextes possibles, de l’orchestre au duo, dont celui-ci. À voir le titre de cette collaboration discographique, on sait d’emblée que les deux complices se lancent dans une partie de plaisir; qui plus est, le public présent à ce spectacle live, tenu lors des Soirées de musique fraîche à Québec en janvier 1997, les accueille avec des applaudissement nourris après chaque numéro. En une heure, nos deux lascars enfilent six pièces (la première et la dernière étant des impros libres, les autres, signées par l’un ou l’autre, et un thème de Monk en sus, Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are). Comme il arrive souvent dans ces joutes musicales, la part du spectacle est aussi sinon plus importante (par moments) que le discours musical.

… on sait d’emblée que les deux complices se lancent dans une partie de plaisir…


Catherine Perrey, Ici Montréal, March 8, 2001

Jean Derome et Pierre Tanguay étaient invités aux Soirées de musique fraîche organisées à Québec par Philippe Venne et consorts au tout début de 1997 et ont emballé la foule par leur fou savoir-faire. C’est ce concert qui se retrouve ici immortalisé. Dingues de jazz et de tout ce qui peut sortir la musique de ses chants battus, ils interprètent des œuvres pondues sous le label impro Derome Tanguay, une pièce du répertoire des Dangereux Zhoms (autre ensemble de Derome), ainsi qu’une pièce de Thelonius Monk (qui fait partie de leurs grandes références). Le saxophoniste Derome et le batteur Tanguay exposent nonchalamment leur franche audace, leur fluidité et leur capacité de remettre sans cesse leurs œuvres sur le métier. De «la belle ouvrage»! 8,5/10

De «la belle ouvrage»!


Mike Chamberlain, Hour, March 1, 2001

On this live recording from 1997 from the Soirées de musique faîche series, saxophonist and flutist Jean Derome and drummer Pierre Tanguay are determined to show that they are a couple of guys who just want to have fun - and they do. The emphasis is on rhythm, and to that end they use their main instruments, small percussive devices, and their voices to create something of a musicel comedy routine. Which begs the question: How does Jean Derome play so well with his tongue planted so far in his cheek? 4/5

… a couple of guys who just want to have fun — and they do…


Francine Charrette, Club-culture, March 1, 2001

Si on en juge par les titres, l’ambiance musicale effervescente de ce duo en dit long! Ils sont deux, deux troubadours des sons, ils étirent, improvisent explorent et s’explosent dans tous les sens. Une douce folie les habite et leur palette sonore contient une multitude d’autres couleurs que celles audacieusement concoctées sur cet album.

Une musique extrémiste et vivante, ils décortiquent les accords et les sons, voisinent le jazz moderne jusqu’aux frontières de la musique actuelle. Cette panoplie de sons voyage à travers toutes les tendances, soigneusement et audacieusement structurée.

C’est un premier album de ce duo explosif. Jean Derome: saxophones, flûte, voix et divers petits instruments à vents. Pierre Tanguay: batterie, voix et percussion. À deux, ils emplissent l’espace et certainement, notre imaginaire.

À découvrir. Bonne écoute!

Une musique extrémiste et vivante…

Ambiances magnétiques:triple lancement!

Nicolas Tittley, Voir, no. 728, February 22, 2001

Chez Ambiances magnétiques, on a l’habitude des happenings; et cette semaine, c’est à un triple lancement que nous convie l’étiquette phare de la musique actuelle québécoise.

Plinc! Plonc!, un projet d’impro, projet formé de Jean Derome (saxo et instruments à vent divers) et de Pierre Tanguay (percus), lance son premier album: Live aux soirées de musique fraîche. Les deux hommes, qui n’ont pas l’habitude de rester en place, sont actuellement en pleine tournée de la Côte-Ouest.


Nicolas Houle, Voir Québec, no. 728, February 22, 2001

La réussite d’un spectacle de musique actuelle oscillant entre musique écrite et improvisation repose sur une foule d’impondérables: communication entre les musiciens, communication avec la foule, inspiration du moment, etc. Tous ces éléments étaient réunis lors du spectacle de Jean Derome et Pierre Tanguay à l’édition 1997 des Soirées de musique fraîche. Improvisation pure, approche bruitiste, free jazz, rythmes hypnotiques quasi incantatoires; le tandem percussions-instruments à vent passe d’une ambiance à une autre avec la méme adresse, explorant l’immense richesse de ses sonorités. À redécouvrir. 4/5

À redécouvrir.


François Couture, AllMusic, February 1, 2001

Saxophonist Jean Derome and percussionist Pierre Tanguay have been collaborating since the early 1980s in various projects, including Les Patenteux du Québec (where all musicians play on invented instruments), Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms and the Thelonious Monk tribute trio Évidence. Plinc! Plonc! is their first recording as a duo and finally offers audible proof of their special affinities. It is taken from a concert given in Quebec City on January 18, 1997. The set opens with a 17 minute free improvisation that takes Derome from flute to saxophone and his usual bird calls and small instruments. Tanguay works behind his drum set at first, but eventually moves to small percussion. Both musicians share an intuitive link and the fun they have crosses to the audience (we can hear them laugh when Derome takes out his bird calls). Another free improv, Gueding! Guedong!, closes the set, this one entirely performed on jew’s harps. Between the two are one composition by Tanguay and two by Derome, including Zuripari, a favorite of the Dangereux Zhoms repertoire here given a punchy stripped-down treatment. The set is completed by Thelonious Monk’s Ba-Lue Bolivar Ba-Lues-Are. Throughout Plinc! Plonc! the music is light, funny and effortlessly played, while remaining very much involved and challenging. This album reminds us that avant-garde music needs not always be self-centered and serious. This night in Quebec City must have been magical. Strongly recommended.

… the music is light, funny and effortlessly played, while remaining very much involved and challenging.

More texts

  • Théo Lorenc, Rubberneck, September 20, 2001
  • Julian Cowley, The Wire, no. 210, August 1, 2001