Review of the 25th Annual Festival international de musique actuelle de Victoriaville

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, June 20, 2008

The Victo fest began with Jean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms at the cinema. It seemed only appropriate that one of Quebec’s most creative composers, musicians and multi-bandleaders, would open this great fest in Victoriaville, a small town in the center of Quebec. Jean Derome is reeds wizard and a most successful and diverse composer and one of the reasons we go keep going back to the Victo Fest every year. Mr. Derome brought his dynamic 5-piece all-star ensemble plus another seven musicians were added. Derome and his 12-piece small orchestra performed two new long pieces called Traquenards and Plates-formes. The musicians included Derome (alto sax & flutes), Lori Freedman (clarinets), Tom Walsh (trombone), Martin Tétreault (turntables) & Joane Hétu (vocals). The rhythm team of Pierre Cartier (el. bass) and Pierre Tanguay (drums) was in especially fine form as they played their cosmic throb undertow while the clarinet and strings played a lovely repeating theme on top. Joane Hétu did a good deal of odd bird-like vocal sounds that blended well with Martin Tétreault’s turntables effects. Jean Derome’s composing continues to get better and better, I dug the way he interspersed more melodic sections with directed freer parts. This piece seemed darker than anything I’ve heard from Jean Derome previously, yet it was quite successful on a variety of levels. Bravo! […]

Jean Derome’s composing continues to get better and better […] Bravo!