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Album Review

Aline Homzy: éclipse


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Aline Homzy: éclipse
An adage goes: "Patience Is A Virtue." That saying may be perfectly exemplified with the release of violin virtuoso Aline Homzy's recording Éclipse, which has been ten years in the making. This Canadian-American artist's long-awaited debut combines the jazz violin tradition into the contemporary world with improvisation and subtle composition. Joining Homzy under the rubric of "Aline's étoile magique" are vibraphonist Michael Davidson, guitarist Thom Gil, bassist Dan Fortin and Marito Marques on drums. Special guests are João Frade on accordion and vocalist Felicity WIlliams. The 11-track session is made up of original material by either Homzy or Davidson with the only cover Charlie Parker's "Segment."

The exploration of this new music paradigm begins with the opening track "Caraway." As Homzy draws the bow across the violin strings with a deft touch, the music spills out to transport the listener into a captivating musical realm. Her playing has been informed by the likes of Stephane Grappelli, while at the same time, she fearlessly makes bold improvisational choices based on the virtuosity of more contemporary artists such as Jean-Luc Ponty and Regina Carter.

The following track is "Cosmos," and it continues with the dialogue already established by Homzy. She has found the art of improvisation, and her nimble fingers are conversing spontaneously. Her compositional form harkens back to the masters such as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk and the attentive listener will pick up on the intervallic melodies, as well as shifts in tempi and moods, along with a sense of playfulness.

Between Homzy and Davidson and their compositions "Hanakotoba," "Circa Herself," or" Aliens Are Pieces of Wind," the nexus is that they all demonstrate a nuanced balance between complexity and accessibility, with Homzy's violin becoming a vessel of expression. The other unnamed participant in this session is the recording studio, which Homzy has used as the sixth band member. The studio was located in Kingston, Ontario and had been the recording home for the rock band The Tragically Hip. Homzy and the band spent a week recording there and used the post- production tools to help paint the picture of a vivid universe. For example, on "Mesarthim," the theremin and synth are manipulated manually to achieve the sensation that the listener is wrapped in the sound.

The Parker number "Segment" is one of his lesser-known efforts, but the enveloping arrangement still swings along nicely, spurred by Fortin's big toned bass. The other soloists, Homzy, Davidson and Gill, offer their bright ideas and uncluttered sense of phrase that showcase their understanding of the musical structure.

Aline Homzy pushes the envelope of the jazz violin tradition, and her music is a testament to the ever-evolving nature of jazz.

Track Listing

Caraway; Cosmos; Hanakotoba; Circa Herself; Rose du ciel; Aliens are Pieces of Wind; Le belle et l’abeille; Mesarthim; Starring Space; Segment; Beinntot, We Will Collide.


Aline Homzy: violin; Michael Davidson: vibraphone; Marito Marques: drums; Dan Fortin: bass, acoustic; Thom Gill: guitar; João Frade: accordion; Felicity WIlliams: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Aline Hozmy: theramin (#8)

Album information

Title: éclipse | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Elastic Recordings

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