Normand Guilbeault Ensemble / Matthieu Bélanger, Normand Guilbeault, Ivanhoe Jolicœur, Paul Léger, Michel Ouellet

A latin word that describes a state or a quality of being in two parts. When applied to music, a duality may also suggest a juxtaposition of two contrasting styles or approaches, some what like following different directions at the same time. And it is precisely on those terms that the Normand Guilbeault Ensemble has established its own artistic agenda.

For starters, this ensemble is now coming into its own, and in many interesting ways, too. As one may now suspect by the title of this package, this band has gone one step further in the concept departement: while the quintet’s music is very much imbued with the jazz tradition, there is also a commitment to move into areas off the beaten paths, the preview of the “avant-garde” so to speak.

Thought this may be its debut recording, this document is the outcome of some six years of dedicated work. Through thick and thin (mainly the latter) and a common sense of purpose, this five-man ensemble is now ready to emerge out of the wings with this hard-won premiere release, a labour of love one may well say. […]

At another level, dual relationships are apparent in Normand Guilbeault’s approach to composition and arrangement. Note how the brassmen act as the band’s melodicists (“The Singers of the Band”, according to the leader), while the clarinetist weaves inventive counterlines of his own. Not to be overlooked either is the drum and bass rhythm section: one cannot help but appreciate their almost telepathic sense of interplay. As important as the individual contributions are, the music heard here is a sum total, a team effort first and foremost. Need one say more!

Marc Chenard, May 1994

CD (RT 9302)

  • Label: Red Toucan Records
  • RT 9302
  • 1994
  • UCC 777885930226
  • Total duration: 45:53
  • Jewel case
  • 125 mm × 142 mm × 10 mm
  • 105 g

On the web