Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 517, March 15, 2006

Veterans of the new music/jazz scene of Montréal honor some of their jazz idols. The trio presents 11 standards of Duke Ellington, Lee Konitz, Sonny Clark and even Misha Mengelberg. Why record these standards that have been played and recorded by the composers and others so well and so often? Derome simply states “music needs to exist in the flesh” which is undeniably so. Jean Derome plays flute, saxes and also sings. Normand Guilbeault plays bass and Pierre Tanguay percussion. They really enjoy playing these standards and play them with verve. Robert Marcel Lepage concentrates on the work of Pee Wee Russell (1909-1969) a composer and clarinet player in the ragtime and swing-period. Not by playing his compositions, except one (Muskogee Blues). But by evoking his music through his own bluesy compositions. The pieces are played by Tanguay (drums) and Guilbeault (doublebass), René Lussier (guitar) plus Lepage and six other musicians on clarinets. In each track Lepage explores an aspect of Pee Wee’s legendary phrasing and tonal language. The result is some really ‘goodtime’ and accessible jazzmusic. Only by the complex and freaky guitarwork by Lussier - as in track 2 - we know life is more complicated.

The result is some really ‘goodtime’ and accessible jazzmusic.