Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, January 25, 2013

Trio Derome Guilbeault Tanguay is a longtime working trio featuring Jean Derome on alto & bar sax & flute, Normand Guilbeault on contrabass and Pierre Tanguay on drums. I’ve always had a soft spot for this trio since they do jazz standards, with equal amounts of reverence and humor. For this, their fifth disc on the AM label, they cover songs by Earl Hines, Lennie Tristano & Eric Dolphy as well as a few originals by Mr. Derome. Starting with an Earl Hines song called You Can Depend on Me, which features Mr. Derome on bari sax with a warm, charming tone. This song interpolates into Lennie Tristano’s Wow which works quite well. Tristano tunes are often quirky and challenging and incorporate elements of bebop. The next piece is also a Tristano song called, Dreams. This tune soars and swings like the finest of any bop songs, the trio is in fine form here. Québécois drummer Pierre Tanguay is an under-appreciated master and his playing here and throughout is consistently inspired and uplifting. He takes a couple of solos here which are riveting, extending the melody with his ever-sympathetic drumming. Mr. Derome is featured on flute on his own La Danse de Raphaelle. Derome is also an exceptional flutist and is completely enchanting on this slow-burning gem, his solo one of the best flute solos I’ve heard in recent memory. On Mes Enfants the bari sax and bowed bass shadow each other perfectly, creating lush, enchanting harmonies. The very first jazz album I bought (in 1972) was a 2-LP reissue of Eric Dolphy’s Outward Bound and Out There. It completely blew my mind and it changed my life. The trio cover one of the gems from that album, The Baron and do an amazing job! No easy feat with Derome’s alto swinging hard, it makes me smile just to hear that familiar riff once more. Although Derome penned Palestine, it does sound like a standard. His tone and playing on the bari sax is exemplary, touching and beyond belief. This disc ends with a rather charming version of a silly old standard called, The Best Things in Life are Free, which Mr. Derome sings on. Corny but cute and a nice way to bring this entire affair to a humble close. The cover features a humorous picture of the Trio smiling like naughty children on a sunny day outside. Fun for all parties involved.

Fun for all parties involved