François Couture, AllMusic, March 18, 2004

Jean Derome is a prime mover on Montréal’s new music scene, but despite all his free improv units and large-scale projects, the man is first and foremost known in his native city as a jazzman. And the Trio Derome Guilbeault Tanguay he formed with his trusty sidemen Normand Guilbeault (bassist) and Pierre Tanguay (drums) is a regular fixture in the city’s modern jazz clubs. Yet, Derome’s jazziest side has rarely been documented on record (his two albums with the trio Évidence aside). For its first CD, the Trio DGT focuses on its leader’s compositions — the unit is also known for its sizzling tributes to many neglected jazz heroes. Derome has selected 10 pieces written between the mid-’70s and early 2000s. Those familiar with the saxophonist’s work will not be surprised to find a strong Thelonious Monk influence in many tracks (especially the opener Marcher sur des Braises), but several other names could be mentioned, from Lennie Tristanoto Ornette Coleman and Joe McPhee. The melodies are developed in unpredictable ways (Pangolin), the musicians fool around with polyrhythmical layers (Marcher sur des Braises again, where Tanguay plays a game of hide and seek with the beat) and are given a lot of freedom to weave their own voices into the written material. Highlights also include the tender Vérone, the spiky Étymologie, Guilbeault’s solo in Quek’un!, and Derome’s limping baritone sax in Pangolin, a track named after an anteater-like animal. This reviewer only has one complaint: a redoubtable flutist, Derome picks up the flute only once, for the closing Michka, which is a shame. 10 Compositions is by far Derome’s most accessible album to date. Fans of his more daring projects (his long-standing duo with Tanguay, for instance) may find this one a bit light in the offering, but the Trio DGT’s modern jazz still steers resolutely clear from the mainstream.

… by far Derome’s most accessible album to date.