The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Listening Diary

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, August 3, 2010

Jean René has a long and illustrious career in avant-garde music behind him. His viola has accompanied near everybody on the Montréal scene. Now, Jean René releases his very first album under his own name, and a solo opus to boot. Well, congratulations. First of all, it was about time! Second of all, it’s an excellent record. Fammi features ten compositions, most of them multitracked, where René plays acoustic and electric viola, plus some electric guitar. The title track is fascinating: its counterpoint brings to mind Bach, while its harmony is resolutely modern. And this record boasts a form of musical humour that once was the trademark of Quebec “musique actuelle” (titles like La triste vie d’une puce and Le grand boudin evoke Les Granules). Yet, mischieviousness is not the key trait of this record — that would be intelligence and complex emotions.

Jean René releases his very first album under his own name, and a solo opus to boot. Well, congratulations. First of all, it was about time! Second of all, it’s an excellent record.

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