Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 537, 2 août 2006

Since a few years the Ambiances Magnétiques invests in new talent. With these both releases we have another proof of this policy in our hands. On both CDs we find a trio at work. With Today is a Special Day the trio with Philippe Lauzier (alto and soprano saxes), Miles Perkin (double bass and voice) and Robbie Kuster (drums and percussion) make their first statement. Lauzier is from Montréal where he studied saxophone and composition. He is active in the fields of jazz and new music. Miles Perkin, is another rising star in the Montréal music scene. The projects he is involved in, are to many to mention. As a composer he leads his own ensemble Common Thread. Also working on many fronts in Montréal is swiss-born Robbie Kuster. As a trio they exist about two years now. Most of the compositions are by Lauzier, some others by Perkin. Also they adapt two compositions by Béla Bartók: Mélodie pentatonique and Bulgarian Rhythm. Their jazz is far from traditionalistic, but also not superbly modern, but somewhere in the middle. With their disciplined and well crafted playing they create an open and dynamic music that is very mature. In all respects a very consistent trio of dedicated players with a clear concept and identity. Couldn’t find a weak spot here.

Totally different is Idiolalla, a collaboration of two female singers, DB Boyko and Christine Duncan, completed by Jean Martin on drums. This trio is specialized in very free form improvisations, with mainly both vocalists on the forefront. From Vancouver comes DB Boyko. She worked with the NOW Orchestra and made impression with her song-cycle Amphibious Tales in the 90’s. Of both Christine Duncan - with a five octave range - is the one who has the most experience. She worked with Kenny Wheeler, Paul Horn, etc. Percussionist Jean Martin worked with David Murray, Lori Freedman, and many others. So speaking of ‘new talents’ should be taken as a very relative notion. By the way, Duncan and Martin also perform as a duo. The non-verbal mouth music of this trio is very dramatic and intense. Drummer Martin plays modest but effective. But when listening repeatedly to this CD, I could not suppress the thought that all becomes a bit more of the same. Which is may be due to the free form character of their improvisations. So how expressive and adventurous the improvisations may be, this does not guarantee a CD that impresses from beginning to the end.