Benjamin Deschamps: Augmented RealityBy
Deschamps' and his sax lead off the first track, "Unfinished Business," a song with an aggressive drive that showcases the ensemble's strengths virtuosic technical precision, combined with a group dynamic which flows easily into and out of moods and modes.
There is a muscled approach, even in slower tempos such as the two tracks "Healing Chant: The Incantation" and "Healing Chant: The Resurrection." Taken together, the mood ranges from reverent but powerful, with all the focus on the sonorous winds (including a dark-toned bass clarinet), before giving way to a contemplative guitar solo. If the "Healing Chants" are meditative, "Parallel Universe" switches gears entirely to a more cerebral mode of expression. It is a nice showcase for Deschamps' sax chops in full kinetic mode, and the interplay with Nicolas Ferron's guitar, at breakneck speed, is spectacular.
"Opinions" is something like a frazzled traditional jazz songif that mode was hyped on uppers and went on an extended, trippy adventure; it jumps from an almost big-band beat one moment to shades of bebop and experimental, and in and out of harmony and dissonance.
Appropriately, Deschamps saves the electronic noise for "Augmented Reality," the title track, where it plays in and out of a Rhodes and tenor sax, with a rock 'n' roll guitar line to anchor the sound.
Vocalist Valérie Saulnier is featured on one track, "Amitiés oubliées" (Forgotten Friendships), her clear soprano adding expressive vocalisms to the most laid back track on the release. Also notable is Jean-Nicolas Trottier on the trombone, marking a delicious contrast to Saulnier's voice. Later, she and Deschamps' sax sing rings around each other. It is all expression, in keeping with the song's premise.
"Fearless" unfolds in sections, opening with shimmering atmosphere, and then moving into a kind of contrapuntal section, back and forth into and out of a slow keyboard riff. Like the composer himself, the song is not afraid to take chances, or mix musical metaphors.
Augmented Reality is for contemporary jazz lovers who will appreciate the intricate attention to detailall those delicate cymbal riffs, the stellar bass work underneath all the melodic linesand sense of invention in composition. It is the organic groove of the musicians that seamlessly weaves all the threads together.
Unfinished Business; Healing Chant: The Incantation; Healing Chant: The Resurrection; Parallel Universe; Opinions; Augmented Reality; Amitiés oubliées; Fearless
Benjamin Deschamps: saxophone, alto; Jean-Nicolas Trottier: trombone, bass; Nicolas Ferron: guitar; Sébastien Pellerin: bass, acoustic; Charles Trudel: piano; Al Bourgeois: drums; Valérie Saulnier: voice / vocals.
Title: Augmented Reality | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Multiple Chord Music (MCM)
Post a comment about this album
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZAll About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
WE NEED YOUR HELPTo expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.
About Benjamin Deschamps
Instrument: Saxophone, altoArticle Coverage | Calendar | Albums | Photos | Similar Artists