Home » Jazz Articles » Carl Mayotte: Fantosme

Album Review

Carl Mayotte: Fantosme


Sign in to view read count
Carl Mayotte: Fantosme
Canadian bassist/composer Carl Mayotte calls Québec City home, although he currently lives in Montréal and has also spent time in France. Already a gifted electric bassist, earning a Master's degree from the Jazz Faculty of McGill University increased his composing and arranging skills. This music frequently uses funk and Latin music like classic fusion jazz. But at the same time, at full force this is a ten-piece band with a five-piece horn section, capable of energetic section work as well as exciting solos.

"Le Fantosme" (which means phantasm or apparition in French) opens the album with atmospheric keyboards and electronics—reminiscent of an Emerson, Lake and Palmer album—before launching into a lyrical fretless bass/saxophone melody. The second part shifts into Latin fusion, driven by the horn section. "Grand Prix" finds Mayotte's fleet bass lines trading with guitarist Gabriel Cyr, while "O Commodoro" features a virtuosic bass solo. In "Crépuscule" Cyr's solo guitar soundscape serves as an introduction to the ballad "Haynarket Square" (for the record, it is spelled with an 'n' on purpose, as an inside joke based on how band members pronounced it).

The ballad features bass as lead instrument throughout, except for a brief soprano saxophone solo. "Smoky Chicks" is a guitar feature, including a blazing (but melodic) solo. After a bridge it goes out on a high energy synthesizer solo and a blaze of horns. "La Cavalerie S'Envole" has a definite Weather Report vibe (especially with soprano saxophonist Damien Jade Cyr as the lead voice), while spotlighting pianist Francis Grégoire. "Marise" is an overdubbed bass duet, a final showcase for Mayotte as both composer and bassist.

An excellent debut for Mayotte's new band. His bass playing is a highlight, but the arrangements also give plenty of space to his talented bandmates.

Track Listing

Le Fantosme; Grand Prix; O Commodoro; Crépuscule; Haynarket Square; Smoky Chicks; La Cavalerie S'Envole; Marise; Miroir Hélicoïdal; Spiritus.


Carl Mayotte: bass, electric; Damien Jade Cyr: saxophone, tenor; Jean-Pierre Zanella: flute; Emannuel Richard Bourdon: trombone; Rémi Cormier: trumpet; Patrice Luneau: saxophone, baritone; Luc Boivin: percussion; Gabriel Cyr: guitar, electric; Francis Grégoire: keyboards; Stéphane Chamberland: drums; Raymonde Gagné: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Carl Mayotte: electric & fretless bass; Damien Jade Cyr: tenor, alto & soprano saxophone; Jean-Pierre Zanella: alto saxophone, flute.

Album information

Title: Fantosme | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Arte Boreal Records

Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All 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.

To 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.

Post a comment about this album



New Oxford Brevity
Dominic Lash / Pat Thomas
Dedicated To You
Joe Coughlin
Times Like These
Nica Carrington
Blue Note Re:imagined II
Various Artists


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.