Listening Diary

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, December 19, 2012

In my mind, that “wow” in the title means “Wow, Ambiances Magnétiques is still alive and kicking!”. After 12+ months of silence, the venerable Montréal musique actuelle label is releasing three new albums on the verge of 2013. Starting with this Wow!, Trio Derome Guilbeault Tanguay’s fourth (their fifth if you include the live DVD). For this CD, the avant-jazz trio is recycling the recipe used on their previous effort Danse à l’Anvers, i.e. a blend of standards, quasi-standards, and Derome originals. Lennie Tristano and Eric Dolphy get added to their repertoire, along with The Best Things in Life Are Free, which continues the band’s tradition of having Jean Derome sing on one track per album. Derome’s Palestine and La danse de Raphaëlle are highlights, along with a medley of You Can Depend On Me & Wow. Derome plays a very warm baritone sax and cheeky flute — no bird calls or other noise-makers, this album sticks to a traditional jazz instrumentarium. Bassist Normand Guilbeault is in particularly good shape on this recording, and drummer Pierre Tanguay brilliantly hijacks his ideas instead of simply falling in line with them. But that’s what you come to expect from these guys.