[…] Another exotic instrument we hear on the duo CD by Bélanger and Guilbeault. Marie-Soleil Bélanger plays the ehru, a chinese string instrument, in some of the tracks on their cd Les salines. Most of the time however she sticks to the baritone violin. Norman Guilbeault plays double bass. He may be known to you from his recent Charles Mingus tribute that I reviewed for Vital Weekly. Besides he worked and works with many other musicians from the Ambiances Magnétiques collective like René Lussier, Jean Derome and many others. Bélanger is active in the Montréal scene since 1994, and plays currently with Fanfare Pourpour. On a tour in France in 2005 both found inspiration for their CD, a very nice and inspired work by two excellent string players from Canada. The compositions are very transparent and open and give plenty of room this way to the capabilities of both musicians. Most of all they prove themselves as great vehicles for the musical expression of both players. They communicate in well balanced improvisations, that are not far out concerning their structure. And although they make use of extended techniques, they don’t push things to the extreme. With great ease and joy they move between traditionalist and modern approaches, creating some very warm and human music.