The New & Avant-garde Music Store

Review

Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, June 12, 2015

For myself and a number of other attendees at the 2015 FIMAV Fest in Quebec last month, the best set was Jean Derome‘s (20 piece) Resistances Orchestra. Reeds wiz and composer, Jean Derome, has long been a major part of the Quebecois creative music scene. This fine disc was actually released last year (2014) but we just got a promo copy in recently so it is time to give it the credit due. After more than twenty discs as a leader, this is Mr. Derome’s first release of his chamber music, covering two decades of writing (1992-2012). Each of the six pieces feature a different ensemble, solo or duo. Les Dangereux Zhoms here are a six piece unit that Mr. Derome has worked with on a half dozen previous releases. They perform "5 Etudes Pour Figures" for this disc, with Derome on soprano sax, Ellwood Epps on trumpet and Guillaume Dostaler on piano. The music is rich and well constructed, the use of the marimba & horns reminds me of "Uncle Meat" (the Mothers, circa 1968) but without any slapstick but equally complex layers of lines. "Les Cheminees" is for a flute octet that accompanied a video. Again, Mr. Derome does a fine job of arranging various flutes (piccolo, regular & bass flutes), sometimes stark and yet consistently focused and fascinating. Ontario-based clarinetist, Lori Freedman, has been a integral member of the Ambiances Magnetiques collective for more than a decade and has been featured on a number of Derome, Joan Hetu and Ensemble SuperMusique sessions. "Les Jumeaux" is performed by the duo of Ms. Freedman on clarinets and Mr. Derome on alto sax & bass flute. This duo sound especially great together playing Derome’s quirky, playful and festive music. Ms. Freedman plays solo bass clarinet on "Oiseau-Lyre", an intense and most expressive tour-de-force. "Rouge" is performed by the Quasar Sax Quartet. Mr. Derome is an extraordinary saxist and obviously knows how to write for a sax quartet, exploring a variety of textures, harmonies and extended sounds. This disc shows that Mr. Derome continues to evolve as a composer, his compositions covering a variety of approaches and influences. Highly recommended.

Highly recommended.

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