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Lorraine Desmarais Trio and winds: Bleu Silence

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No stars How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Bleu Silence is the third album of Montréal based pianist/composer/arranger Lorraine Desmarais on her own label "Les Disques Scherzo". Before founding the label in 1995 Ms. Desmarais recorded three CDs for Radio-Canada as a leader and others as a "side-woman". The material on this CD consists of six original compositions and two standards. Six tracks are arranged for piano trio and wind quartet, two tracks are trio only.

As a collector of jazz piano trio CDs the reviewer frowned when this CD arrived on his desk due to the involvement of the classical wind quartet: How could a group like this work in a jazz context? Wouldn't the winds obscure the piano part? But none of these reservations are valid in the case of this CD. The arrangements by Ms. Desmarais are very well done and the winds are used to the full advantage of the whole project, they never get in the way. On "Lover Man" the melody is introduced my the haunting sound of the oboe and a short contrapuntal section by the winds before the piano trio joins in. Other tracks also leave the introduction to the winds. Then the foreground alternates between the piano and the winds. Where the piano trio dominates the winds are used to provide a rich and colorful harmonic background - and that works amazingly well.

Apart from "Up 26" of the tracks on this CD have a medium to slow tempo. The music is emotionally warm and the recording quality matches this fine achievement. Recommended! Or as Oliver Jones, a fellow Canadian pianist, states in the booklet: Great technique, good tunes, great arrangements are the key to this very successful CD.

"Les Disques Scherzo" can be found through ADISQ (www.adisq.com).

Track Listing: 1) Clair de Lune 2) Oscar 3) Lover Man 4) Serge (*) 5) Up 26 (*) 6) My Romance (*) 7) Bossa del Ni

Personnel: Lorraine Desmarais: piano, Fr

Record Label: Les Disques Scherzo

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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