Jazz & Improv

Julian Cowley, The Wire, no 248, 1 octobre 2004

Mélanie Auclair sings and plays cello. Instrumentally, she is straightforward and unsentimental; vocally, she is free from melodrama, sounding quietly excited and a touch vulnerable. One solo, six duets and a trio with other Canadian musicians are offered as a suite of instants and prove to be a most agreeable flea in the ear.

She engages with piano, colourful mixed percussion, double bass, baritone sax, Joane Hétu’s vocalising, Bernard Falaise’s splendidly compliant electric guitar and a combination of vibes and shakuhachi flute. Auclair’s lightness of touch coupled with her unassuming directness make for more intimate and satisfying music than is usual in such episodic projects. Puce à l’oreille has the appeal of meetings that just scratch the surface of common ground, the attractiveness of the still finding out stage.