La boutique des nouvelles musiques

Review

Dolf Mulder, Vital, no 924, 17 mars 2014

Three new releases from Eric Normand’s label Tour de Bras. Two of them have the trumpet of Elwood Epps and the drums of Michel F Côté in common. Both are reputed players in the Montreal scene.

Pink Saliva is an improvising trio completed by Alexandre St-Onge on bass and laptop. They present three improvised pieces recorded live in November 2010. Unpolished improvisations, with fine playing by Elwood Epps.

In a more sophisticated context we hear Epps again in Côté’s project Mecha Fixes Clocks, together with: Philippe Lauzier (alto sax, bass clarinet), Epps (trumpet), Jean René (alto violin), Pierre-Yves Martel (viola da gamba, feedback), Bernard Falaise (guitar), Guillaume Dostaler (piano) and Côté (drums, feedback, and microphones). Again a typical Côté-release. Music of a dream-like nature. Open soundscapes in the background, with jazz-inspired instruments in the forefront, although there is no real forefront and background. The music evokes a sense of space. The music drips in your ears along unpredictable patterns and at the same time it all seems to fit.

Tour de Bras is also the driving force behind the festival Rencontres de Musiques Spontanées, with the large improvisational collective ensemble called GGRIL (Grand groupe régional d’improvisation libérée) as a returning act. Earlier they released an album with Evan Parker as a guest. This ensemble of 14 musicians under direction of Eric Normand, creates fine textures, that move seemingly independent from each other. Their interactions make you wonder what is happening here, and that is a good sign. The improvisations, pressed on red vinyl, are also surprisingly coloured due to an unusual line-up. I hear accordeon, electric guitars, percussion, strings, etc.

Music of a dream-like nature. Open soundscapes in the background, with jazz-inspired instruments in the forefront, although there is no real forefront and background. The music evokes a sense of space. The music drips in your ears along unpredictable patterns and at the same time it all seems to fit.

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