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Portrait: Danielle P Roger

François Couture, AllMusic, June 15, 2002

Danielle Palardy Roger is the lesser known among the three female members of the Montréal musicians’ collective Ambiances Magnétiques. The drummer always kept a lower profile than Joane Hétu or Diane Labrosse (not to mention male counterparts like René Lussier or Jean Derome), especially since the disbanding of the group Justine. She rarely leads her own band, but she still performs regularly on the Montréal free improv circuit and composes contemporary classical music (for the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, among others). Maybe more importantly, her company Productions SuperMémé-SuperMusique has become a major producer of new music events.

Roger met keyboardist Labrosse and saxophonist Hétu in the late 1970s through the loose experimental collectives that took turns animating the Montréal underground back then. Like them she is self-taught on drums. The trio founded Productions SuperMémé-SuperMusique in 1979 to take care of their own business and started playing together. With a couple more women they formed Wondeur Brass, whose first album came out in 1985 on the label Ambiances Magnétiques, immediately after they were asked to become members of the collective. Roger was also part of the trio Les Poules with Hétu and Labrosse, a group that moved away from the Rock-in-Opposition sound of the other outfit to explore freer grounds.

Wondeur Brass made a second LP in 1988, Simoneda reine des esclaves, before transforming into the quartet Justine with Roger, Hétu, Labrosse, and bassist Marie Trudeau. With this group the drummer toured Canada, the US, and Europe, appearing at the RingRing Festival (Belgrade) in 1997. The group disbanded shortly after. While her colleagues moved on to solo projects, Roger focused on the company they had co-founded and of which she became the sole director.

Roger has only one solo album to her credit, the creative children tale L’oreille enflée (1994). The release of Tricotage, a duo session with bassist Joëlle Léandre in 2000 marked her come-back on disc.

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