Labbé pushes the envelope and lives his musical life on the edge. — La Scena Musicale, Québec
Prix Opus 2009-10: Disque de l’année — Finaliste
Finally, Pierre Labbé’s back on CD, six years after Risque et pendule. From the sextet line-up featured on that first Ambiances Magnétiques opus, released as Ensemble Pierre Labbé, the sax/flute player only retained the services of guitarist Bernard Falaise (Miriodor, Klaxon Gueule, Les Projectionnistes). Bassist Clinton Ryder and drummer Isaiah Ceccarelli round up the group. On Manivelle [Crank], the quartet waltzes, turns, and tears up through nine Labbé originals. Though firmly anchored in jazz, his compositions shake free from jazz’s diktats. In turn rock-in-opposition, musique actuelle, Arabic elements, fusion, hard-bop, free, and savagely rock, Labbé’s music absorbs, synthesizes, and remaps all those influences. Ample themes are spread around, interspersed with large stretches of collective exploration, a fertile ground for these four sonic adventurers. “For many years now, I have been trying to make music both organic and spiritual. Music that transpires and inspires, music that grooves, whispers, and moves you. Atypical jazz feeding on opposites, a resolutely plural form of jazz,” Labbé writes. You will easily notice the stunning guitar flights, the uncanny creativity of the drumming, the robust bass playing, and the lyrical phrasing of the saxophone. Yet, Labbé’s melodies — at times sweet, at times jagged — might be what you’ll remember best, as they bear the quality seal of a unique hybrid form of writing both closely related to his previous projects (Papa Boa, Les Projectionnistes, Ensemble Pierre Labbé) and reinvented by a gust of free jazz inspiration. The crank is turning indeed, synergistically.
CD (AM 190)
- Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
- AM 190
- UCC 771028119028
- Total duration: 42:32
- Sympathique case
- 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
- 35 g
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In the press
The Pierre Labbé 4TET can be discreet, aerial, soothing off the clouds like the midnight moon’s rays, and it can be simultaneously compositional and improvisational on the spiralling path down to each musical note and tone, and it can be kind of funny or at least humorous in some forth-level way, and it can be 25% Free Jazz, 25% Smoky-Bar Jazz, 25% Ambient-Spatial Jazz and 25% Mental Groove, and it can be darkly emotional, poignant-imprinting, slightly mysterious, off the hook and freshy fresh, and it can be up to date with most of today’s musique actuelle, and it can be played by an electric guitar, a contrabass, a drum, some percussions, a tenor saxophone and a flute, and it can be that the instrumental textures have just the right amount of shadowy atmosphere, and it can be the most straight-fowardly catchy music which Pierre Labbé has composed in a long while, and it can be like a descent into the almost imperceptible underworlds of slow-motion manual rhythm, and it can be musically alarming in the minute details as well as spiritually inclined as a whole, and it can be considered as live and instrumentally performed music, and it can be quite skeletal in structure though fleshed out with those macro g-spots, and it can be along the lines of an abstract painting with a few outbursts of vaguely familiar forms, and it can be everything of the above and probably a bit more as it can be what it is to be. Or as Pierre Labbé himself says, “for many years now, I have been trying to make music both organic and spiritual. Music that transpires and inspires, music that grooves, whispers, and moves you. Atypical jazz feeding on opposites, a resolutely plural form of jazz.”
Continuando a “gittare” lo sguardo Oltreoceano — grazie agli stimoli che continuano ad arrivarci copiosi dalla canadese Ambiances Magnétiques ci si imbatte, innanzitutto in qualche golosa uscita di…
Il Normand Guilbeault Ensemble pubblica un notevole Hommage à Mingus dove — grazie al sestetto allestito dal contrabbassista canadese — vengono riletti sei classici del grande musicista statunitense: molto intensa l’iniziale Passions of a Woman Loved così come il blues malato di Song with Orange.
Su di una frequenza più elettrica si colloca il Pierre Labbé 4tet che con Manivelle sforna un lavoro molto denso ed intimista magnificamente introdotto dalla convincente — ma (pur)troppo breve — Pour le moment. In effetti Labbé si rivela fiatista e compositore molto interessante e “felpato” in grado di far emergere il lato più lirico di due musicisti davvero unici: il chitarrista Bernard Falaise (che abbiamo apprezzato sia nelle scorribande avant di Klaxon Gueule che nei suoi grandissimi lavori solisti) e il percussionista Isaiah Ceccarelli: in Corpus i due forniscono un apporto davvero convincente così come nella rarefatta La Kuchika dove emerge imperioso anche il contrabbasso di Clinton Ryder.
Per rimanere ancora in situazioni più strutturate va menzionato Nozen, (Live! au Upstairs) quartetto che ruota attorno al già noto fiatista Damián Nisenson grazie alla cui penna possiamo godere di un jazz a spiccata propensione etnica. Sorprende la duttilità dell’onnipresente Falaise così come l’efficace panneggio bassistico di Jean Félix Mailloux mentre Pierre Tanguay si conferma batterista in grado unire inventiva musicale a solida strutturazione ritmica.
Ancora più bello — nella sua esotica fragranza — Migration di Cordâme. Si tratta di un sestetto gravitante attorno al già citato Mailloux (che, tra l’altro, firma tutte le tredici tracce) dove — così come il nome del progetto allude — le corde emergono in tutta la loro fragranza mediterranea: il violino di Marie Neige Lavigne, il violoncello di Julie-Odile, le chitarre di Rémi Giguère unitamente all’onnipresente Tanguay e alle percussioni di Ziya Tabassian. Molto bella l’omonima Migration — nella sua purissima arabicità — cosi come il nervoso peregrinare di Trajet.
Manivelle is the second album under Pierre Labbé’s leadership; it’s been six years since he released Risque et Pendule with his six-piece ensemble. Utilizing a pared down quartet featuring a completely different cast of characters, save guitarist Bernard Falaise, Manivelle strides that not so fine line between rock and jazz. Labbé and company come across as confident, world-weary travellers of the musical spectrum, incorporating a number of influences into their brew. Each of the nine tracks leads the group to a different destination, prodding them to explore untamed regions of sound. Labbé, Falaise, drummer Isaiah Ceccarelli and bassist Clinton Ryder are at the top of their game, having found a rare synchronicity. Labbé’s compositions are executed with grace, charm and a hint of intrigue. Manivelle is a stunning release from this Québécois mainstay.
Pierre Labbé first appeared in the catalogue of Ambiances Magnétiques in 1999 on two releases. On one as a member of Les Projectionnistes, on the other as part of Papa Boa, a quartet of Bernard Falaise, Rémi Leclerc (Miriodor) and Frédéric Roverselli. In 2003 he returned with his Ensemble Pierre Labbé for his first real musical statement: Risque et pendule. A sextet interprets nine stylistic diverse compositions by Labbé, again with guitarist Falaise as one of its members. Now we are once more six years ahead in time. This time Labbé (tenor sax, flute) formed a quartet to perform his newest compositions: Bernard Falaise (guitars), Clinton Ryder (bass) and Isaiah Ceccarelli (drums, percussions). This release perfectly fits in the long tradition of Ambiances Magnétiques of combining rock and jazz elements in the format of avant rock-like groups. Discussions whether it is more rock or jazz in the end or fruitless. Both languages are interwoven in a very organic way by Labbé, implying that is meaningless to seek for the moments where rocks ends and jazz starts. This atypical music that integrates so many different musical aspects and traditions, is on the other hand very together and undivided. This has to do with the strong handwriting of Labbé as a composer, and the dedicated performance by the group. The music ranges from almost spiritual pieces like the opening track Pour le Moment to very rhythmic complex exercises as Manivelle. Matos belongs also to this last category. But this piece is at the same time an example of how Labbé reserved space for free collective improvisation. In many of the pieces there is much room for guitarist Falaise, for his surprising and inspired playing. No surprise Falaise is asked and involved in many initiatives nowadays. Hope it will not take another six year for a new album by Labbé and his mates.
This is a most-pleasing release by tenor saxophonist Pierre Labbé and his quartet of guitarist Bernard Falaise, bassist Clinton Ryder and drummer Isaiah Ceccarelli. Labbé has a beautiful, warm tone on his horn, and Falaise, who it seems can play anything on a guitar, brings much of the same rock edge to this project as on his work with Les Projectionnistes. Ryder and Ceccarelli are solid and flexible, as the music moves between rock, funk and free jazz. Music to keep you warm.
La semaine dernière, on mentionnait que le Different Dylan du pianiste et chanteur Ben Sidran terminait bien l’année. Il se trouve parfois qu’après certaines terminaisons se cachent aussi des conclusions épatantes. Grâce aux dieux et déesses de la Grèce antique, on en a repéré une. Et une grande.
Bon. Comment dire… Question son du saxophone «taie-nord», vous aimez celui de Ben Webster, Don Byas ou Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, vous l’aimez épais comme dans dense? Eau quai! Question esthétique, et non école, vous caressez le rêve d’entendre un Ben Webster de notre époque dite post-moderne qui aime bien décaper, qui aime bien s’aventurer là où le bipède souhaite que d’autres s’aventurent pour lui? Eau quai!
Puisque c’est le cas, alors Pierre Labbé est votre homme. Si sa géographie professionnelle se confond avant tout avec le territoire montréalais, sachez que sa musique, par ses qualités, ses beautés, ses interrogations, ses ponctuations, fait de Labbé comme de Jean Félix Mailloux, Jean Derome ou Normand Guilbeault un musicien du monde-mondial. Bon ou bien, c’est au choix.
Intitulé Manivelle, cet album a été publié par Ambiances Magnétiques. Bien. Labbé, pour interpréter SES compositions, car entre autres qualités il écrit tous les morceaux, a fait appel aux diverses maîtrises musicales du guitariste Bernard Falaise, du contrebassiste Clinton Ryder et du batteur Isaiah Ceccarelli. Bon.
Dès l’amorce de Manivelle, il s’agit de Pour le moment, on est saisi, capté, ébloui, par l’ampleur du son de Labbé et par la mélodie. Ça se siffle. Attention! Ça se siffle dans le bon sens du verbe. Certains morceaux, on pense à Fès, mettent en relief les lenteurs des langueurs. Pas celles du spleen ou du mal de vivre à gogo, mais bien les langueurs des chaleurs. D’autres régalent comme étonnent parce qu’elles nous déstabilisent quelque peu. Chose certaine, Manivelle est une célébration de la musique, du jazz comme des autres, de la première note à la dernière. Chapeau!
Ah bien! C’est notre ami Pierre Labbé! Cet homme qui réssucita à coup de 50 musiciens cet été pour le 10e anniversaire de l’Off Festival de Jazz. Avant cette carnavlesque aventure, le monsieur s’était fait plutôt discret. D’une discrétion qui laissait croire le mieux comme le pire. Plusieurs rumeurs l’envoyaient en Jordanie dans un camp d’entraînement aux côtés des milices ultra-secrètes d’une nouvelle vague de felquistes se préparant à envahir les rangs du Canadiens de Montréal! (…”de” Canadien, excusez-moi) Mais erreur! C’est plutôt aux côtés des Ceccarelli, Falaise et Ryder que l’alchimiste préparait son nouveau coup! Un album à avoir près de soi si vous croisez Zombie Pierre-Elliot Trudeau.
This is saxist & composer, Pierre Labbé’s second disc for the Ambiances Magnétiques label, although he was also a member of Les Projectionnistes with Bernard Falaise as well. Mr. Falaise is one of the best and busiest guitarists to emerge from the great Québécois scene and can be heard on dozens of discs. Over the past few years drummer Isaiah Ceccarelli has also been busy playing a number of fine AM sessions as as one with him as the leader. Pour Le Moment is a subdued song for elegant jazz guitar, warm tenor sax and sizzling brushes.I dig the dancing groove that Isaiah sets up on Corpus. Although Pierre is the main composer here, he does a great job of setting up Bernard Falaise to play lots diverse guitar parts and taking inspired solos. Each piece provides a different challenge for the quartet, since Pierre keeps changing the structures. For the title piece, Pierre plays an ongoing rhythmic groove on his sax while the rest of the quartet has to shift changing tempo or balance. I dig the way the quartet uses space on Fes to carefully place notes in a most suspenseful way. This music is in between categories like jazz and rock, but does use elements of both. Matos shifts between more rockin’ sections and abrupt spacious interludes, it seems to work but it hard to explain exactly why. I dig the way Isaiah’s exuberant drums kick off La Kuchika, yet it is the laid back clicking groove that fuels the rest of the piece. Mr. Labbé does a consistently good job of keeping two shifting ideas moving along together with various interconnected parts. The occasional twisted guitar solo by Falaise is an added plus. This is one of those unrecognized gems that will take some time to fully absorb all of the fine points and intricate ideas buried within.
Following the success of his 50-piece orchestra at this summer’s Off Jazz Fest, Labbé gives us Manivelle, his best record to date. His quartet brings subtlety and muscle where they are due, flying high on nine great compositions ranging from snaky rhythmic workouts to airy ballads. It’s a treat to hear such a fully realized work from one of the city’s underappreciated creative forces.