Music DVD Reviews

Glen Hall, Exclaim!, September 1, 2007

Veteran collaborators Jean Derome (reedist), Normand Guilbeault (bassist) and drummer Pierre Tanguay have spent years evolving into a musical “organism,” an organic melding of the identities of the individuals into a seamless, distilled creative entity. And this DVD of their live performance at L’Off Festival de Jazz de Montréal captures them in situ in that most naturalistic jazz setting: the crowded club. The repertoire is drawn from compositions the group have long been exploring and the results show a deep understanding of the material. The performances are uniformly strong, with Derome’s alto, flute and baritone leading the way, displaying a formidable technical fluency, a deep emotional core and a profound respect for his musical forebears Eric Dolphy and Anthony Braxton. Some highlights include Guilbeault’s stunning arco solo in 245, Tanguay’s compellingly melodic Ed Blackwell-like stick work and Derome’s affecting flute playing on Fleurette Africaine and raucous alto on Miss Ann. Two problems with the disc: Derome’s remarks are mixed too low and the hyperactive editing is annoyingly distracting in spots. Besides that, this DVD is the next best thing to seeing the group live.

The performances are uniformly strong…