Cordâme / Jean Félix Mailloux

Hypnotique. La Scena Musicale, Québec

Every one of the thirteen songs here has a winning memorable melody as well as consistently crafty playing and smart arrangements. Downtown Music Gallery, ÉU

Prix Opus 2009-10: Disque de l’année — Finaliste

Migration est une odyssée à travers un monde imaginé par Jean Félix Mailloux. En recherchant sur les musiques ancienne, perse, indienne et arménienne, et les musiques improvisée et modale, Jean Félix a su s’en imprégner pour créer cet univers entre tradition et modernité, improvisation et musique écrite.

Pour ce projet, le trio à cordes Cordâme est appuyé par les guitares de Rémi Giguère ainsi que les percussions de Ziya Tabassian et de Pierre Tanguay.

CD (MAM 010)


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Al di là delle olimpiadi… Nuovi appunti canadesi

Vincenzo Giorgio, Wonderous Stories, no 17, 1 avril 2010

Continuando a “gittare” lo sguardo Oltreoceano — grazie agli stimoli che continuano ad arrivarci copiosi dalla canadese Ambiances Magnétiques ci si imbatte, innanzitutto in qualche golosa uscita di…

Jazz deviato

Il Normand Guilbeault Ensemble pubblica un notevole Hommage à Mingus dove — grazie al sestetto allestito dal contrabbassista canadese — vengono riletti sei classici del grande musicista statunitense: molto intensa l’iniziale Passions of a Woman Loved così come il blues malato di Song with Orange.

Su di una frequenza più elettrica si colloca il Pierre Labbé 4tet che con Manivelle sforna un lavoro molto denso ed intimista magnificamente introdotto dalla convincente — ma (pur)troppo breve — Pour le moment. In effetti Labbé si rivela fiatista e compositore molto interessante e “felpato” in grado di far emergere il lato più lirico di due musicisti davvero unici: il chitarrista Bernard Falaise (che abbiamo apprezzato sia nelle scorribande avant di Klaxon Gueule che nei suoi grandissimi lavori solisti) e il percussionista Isaiah Ceccarelli: in Corpus i due forniscono un apporto davvero convincente così come nella rarefatta La Kuchika dove emerge imperioso anche il contrabbasso di Clinton Ryder.

Per rimanere ancora in situazioni più strutturate va menzionato Nozen, (Live! au Upstairs) quartetto che ruota attorno al già noto fiatista Damián Nisenson grazie alla cui penna possiamo godere di un jazz a spiccata propensione etnica. Sorprende la duttilità dell’onnipresente Falaise così come l’efficace panneggio bassistico di Jean Félix Mailloux mentre Pierre Tanguay si conferma batterista in grado unire inventiva musicale a solida strutturazione ritmica.

Ancora più bello — nella sua esotica fragranza — Migration di Cordâme. Si tratta di un sestetto gravitante attorno al già citato Mailloux (che, tra l’altro, firma tutte le tredici tracce) dove — così come il nome del progetto allude — le corde emergono in tutta la loro fragranza mediterranea: il violino di Marie Neige Lavigne, il violoncello di Julie-Odile, le chitarre di Rémi Giguère unitamente all’onnipresente Tanguay e alle percussioni di Ziya Tabassian. Molto bella l’omonima Migration — nella sua purissima arabicità — cosi come il nervoso peregrinare di Trajet.


Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery, 22 janvier 2010

Cordâme features Marie Neige Lavigne on violin, Julie-Odile Gauthier-Morin on cello and Jean Felix Mailloux on contrabass & compositions plus guests Rémi Giguère on guitars and percussion by Ziya Tabassian and Pierre Tanguay. Migration is an odyssey through a world imagined by Jean Felix Mailloux. By researching on ancient, Persian, Indian and Armenian music and modal and improvised music, Jean Felix was able to absorb it to create this universe somewhere in between tradition and modernity, improvisation and written music.

I must agree with that description. I found this music to be a superb blend of exotic and modern influences. Encompassing a jazz trio (electric guitar/acoustic bass/drums) and a string trio, the shifting/blending between the two trios is seamless. Percussionist Ziya Tabassian plays strong hand percussion that supports and uplifts the spirits. I wasn’t familiar with guitarist Rémi Giguère before this disc but I am most impressed with playing here, reminding me of the way Brad Shepik plays those Middle/Eastern Euro melodies in Pachora or the Tiny Bell Trio. If I didn’t know any better, I would think that this disc would be found on the Radical Jewish Culture series of Tzadik. Every one of the thirteen songs here has a winning memorable melody as well as consistently crafty playing and smart arrangements.

Every one of the thirteen songs here has a winning memorable melody as well as consistently crafty playing and smart arrangements.


Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 713, 11 janvier 2010

The continuity of interesting releases by Ambiances Magnétiques is also the case for the sublabel Malasartes Musiques, that was started by Damian Nisenson several years ago. This time Nisenson presents his new group Nozen, a quartet by Pierre Tanguay (drums), Jean Félix Mailloux (bass), Bernard Falaise (guitars) and Nisenson himself on (alt and tenor sax). They interpret 12 compositions by Argentina-born Nisenson that move between jazz, new music and musical traditions of Jewish Eastern Europe. After the revival of klezmer in the 90s, it was also embraced by jazz musicians. Just think of John Zorn’s Masada or Burton Greene’s Klezmokum. Nozen is also exponent of this development as Nisenson also strives above all for a combination of jazz and klezmer. He does so very successfully. Their playing is modest and inspired. The music often starts very calm but gradually effervescent passages takes over and climaxes are reached. Very satisfying are the few tracks where guitarist Falaise impresses with fine solo work and dissonant, like in the opening track and in the fantastic Spread the News. They counterbalance perfectly with the pieces that pass by relatively unnoticed because they are built around klezmer-like themes that sound to common and therefore insignificant. Like the closing track No Milk No Sugar. However after the short silence a new piece begins that is added as a ghost track. This is by far the most experimental track and was probably produced in the studio.

Jean Félix Mailloux is ready for his second record by his group Cordâme (Marie Neige Lavigne - violin, Julie-Odile - violoncello, Rémi Giguere - guitars, Ziya Tabassian - percussion, vibraphone, Pierre Tanguay -drums). Migration draws inspiration from Persian, Indian and Armenian music, and modal and improvised music. In this respect it is a similar project as Nozen, as both integrate eastern musical traditions in a western context. In contrast with Nozen Mailloux moves further east, not only geographically but also in the music he composes. Jazz-influences, as well as other western idioms are less obvious then in the case of Nozen. Mailloux is not interested in opposing or confronting these influences with western traditions. He brings an ode to eastern musical traditions, leaving behind all the ornaments that characterize this music often in its original form. Of course one can hear immediately that the music is played by western players, who - that is also very evident - are very dedicated to this music. It is evident that Mailloux is very fond of eastern music. However the compositions are not always satisfying or engaging from beginning to end. A bit too spun out from time to time. The music often moves along in the same slow - walk like a egyptian - pace. If you can surrender yourself to this it is a very pleasant slow journey. Very organic and pleasing chamber music. Constantly in the same relaxing mood but played very spirited.

With Interview something else is going on. This is the fist solo effort by the young trumpeter Amy Horvey. She works mainly as a contemporary, orchestral and Baroque trumpeter and appeared as a soloist with numerous ensembles and orchestras. On her first solo-album she interprets works from very different composers. The CD opens with Quattro pezzi per tromba sola, a beautiful composition by Giacinto Scelsi. It is followed by pieces from unknown contemporary composers: Musica Invisible (Cecilia Arditto), Interview (Anna Hostman). In Apparatus Inconcinnus (Ryan Purchase) a story of the Russian writer Daniil Charms is read by Horvey, interrupted by instrumental parts. Overture to The Queen of the Music Boxes features Jeff Morton on music boxes, toy instruments and electronics. It sounds like an improvisation, but I can be wrong. To conclude I can say that Horvey made the right decision in including a wide variety of compositions, showing that she feels at home as a trumpeter in very different musical worlds.


Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no 140, 1 janvier 2010

Fusione ammaliante e pastosa di jazz e suoni etnici medio-orientali e da diaspora in stile Masada. Ma non è una semplice emulazione di un sound che tira. Il percorso sonoro della sezione d’archi di Marie Neige Lavigne, Jean Félix Mailloux e Julie-Odile ha una struggente autenticità. Rémi Giguère suona la chitarra con uno stile terso e semplice, arricchendo di contro-temi un paesaggio che è tra deserto e mare (Méditerranée). Le percussioni di Ziya Tabassian e Pierre Tanguay giocano col battere organico di cuori in perenne peregrinazione. Un controcanto lirico alla storia di Welcome.

Fusione ammaliante e pastosa di jazz e suoni etnici medio-orientali e da diaspora in stile Masada.

Jazz - La victoire de Malasartes

Serge Truffaut, Le Devoir, 7 novembre 2009

Allons-y avec une lapalissade. Il existe à Montréal un noyau de musiciens étonnants et singuliers parce qu’il regroupe des éclaireurs. Des bonshommes qui nous font voyager sans que nous ayons à nous déplacer avec armes et bagages. Précisons que cette évocation au voyage est à prendre au sens physique, géographique. Horizontal et non vertical.

Si l’on a bien compris, le cœur de ce noyau est en fait un duo. Côté cour, il y a Damian Nisenson. Côté jardin, il y a Jean Félix Mailloux. D’origine argentine, le premier joue du saxophone ténor, de l’alto, et compose heureusement beaucoup. Le second? Il est contrebassiste et compose heureusement à point. Par là, le «à point», on veut dire… comment dire? Prenons le foie de veau, la tranche évidemment épaisse. Eh bien, elle doit être cuite à point. Ni trop cuite ni trop saignante. Ce détour culinaire accompli, on aura compris que les compositions de Mailloux étant toutes à point, elles sont à mille lieues des effets de l’esbroufe et du racolage. On le répète, elles sont «à point».

À ces deux gardiens du désert des Tartares se joignent fréquemment Marie-Neige Lavigne au violon et Julie-Odile Gauthier-Morin au violoncelle. Sur l’instrument qui fit la fortune, au sens notoriété et non économique du terme, de Paganini, mademoiselle ou madame Lavigne défend avec ardeur les couleurs de l’audace et de la subtilité. Au violoncelle, mademoiselle ou madame — on tient à l’observation de la politesse élémentaire — Gauthier-Morin affiche un talent aussi pesant, dans le sens profond du terme et non rébarbatif, que l’inventaire de son identité: deux prénoms et deux noms propres. En espérant que cela ne choquera ni maman ni papa Gauthier-Morin. Si c’est le cas, on présente nos excuses les plus sincères. Dans le sens évidemment très vieille France.

Des alchimistes

Au gré de leurs aventures, ces explorateurs s’associent des maîtres trappeurs. On pense au percussionniste Ziya Tabassian, grand initié aux rythmes perses et amateur des musiques de la Renaissance, au guitariste Bernard Falaise, architecte de nappes sonores très denses, et à un de nos héros: le batteur Pierre Tanguay. De ce dernier, on croit que l’expression «s’il n’était pas là, il faudrait l’inventer» lui va comme un gant. De velours et non de boxe. Parfois, d’autres se joignent à eux.

Depuis peu, ces dames et ces messieurs, ou vice et versa, proposent deux albums parus sur étiquette Malasartes que distribue la famille Dame-Ambiances magnétiques. L’un s’intitule NozenLive au Upstairs. C’est Nisenson avec Tanguay, Falaise et Mailloux. L’autre a été baptisé Migration. Il s’agit du groupe Cordâme, dont Mailloux est le principal animateur parce que seul compositeur. Il est flanqué des deux dames ou demoiselles, de Tabassian et Tanguay ainsi que de Rémi Giguère aux guitares. De Giguère dont le jeu fait écho à celui de Marc Ribot.

Et maintenant, le meilleur de l’histoire du jour qui est une des meilleures de l’année. Ce que ces artistes montréalais, et non strictement musiciens, nous proposent, vous offrent, est absolument extraordinaire. Ce qualificatif ayant été tellement galvaudé, on tient à lui greffer certains synonymes. Ces deux productions sont fantastiques sans être démentes, sublimes sans être ineffables. Parce que tous sont des alchimistes: une louche de jazz, une autre des musiques classiques orientales, une ou trois pincées de Bartók, une ou deux de Ravel, une de Brahms, le Brahms des quartettes et quintettes, etc. Après quoi, ils et elles touillent. Bref, l’étiquette Malasartes s’affiche comme le pendant exact de Tazdik, l’étiquette de Zorn. C’est tout dire et beaucoup dire.

Ce que ces artistes montréalais, et non strictement musiciens, nous proposent, vous offrent, est absolument extraordinaire.

Journal d’écoute

François Couture, Monsieur Délire, 3 novembre 2009

Je n’avais pas été impressionné par le premier disque de Cordâme, mais ce deuxième opus, Migration, me plaît beaucoup. Le trio du contrebassiste montréalais Jean Félix Mailloux se fait ici quintette (Marie-Neige Lavigne au violon, Julie-Odile au violoncelle, Rémi Giguère aux guitares, Ziya Tabassian aux percussions) et même sextette sur deux pièce (avec l’ajout du batteur Pierre Tanguay). Des musiques qui métissent jazz et musique juive, presque toutes en cordes. Ça vous dit quelque chose? Oui, à recommander chaudement aux amateurs du Masada String Trio et de Bar Kokhba de John Zorn. Moins “edgy”, mais si vous êtes attiré par la beauté sans retenue de ces projets, vous trouverez votre compte dans Migration.

à recommander chaudement aux amateurs du Masada String Trio et de Bar Kokhba de John Zorn.