123

Bernard Primeau: Liaisons

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Bernard Primeau: Liaisons Ah, the mainstream, that land of direct communication, the land of—dare it be said—swing. The mainstream is the place to visit when you want to feel good in an intelligent way: it's the place of smiling, foot tapping, knowing what is happening and why.

Many mainstream recordings have a flat feeling, giving the impression of the (technically proficient) players going through the motions. That is decidedly not the case with Liaisons. Bernard Primeau is not a drummer as soloist, but rather the engine behind and underneath the proceedings. He is always there making sure the sails never sag, constantly pushing the group forward, and in fact there are a few times when the music feels like it's speeding up. This is not to say that the rest of the rhythm section, pianist John Roney and drummer David Watts, just sit by and watch the music happen. The rhythm section, as a group, is a great unit, allowing the ensemble to sound bigger than a septet (guitarist Philip Catherine guests with Primeau's sextet). The most obvious precedent to Primeau's main esthetic is Art Blakey, whose rhythmic and group feel is evoked effectively, without hero worship, on "Groan'in and "The Message.

The arrangements are always interesting, maintaining a hold on the ear and mind without getting fussy or overly complicated. The ensemble playing is very tight, and each soloist gets a chance to have his say. Picking out one might seem unfair, but Bruno Lamarche has a tenor saxophone sound that is as smooth as warm butter. Through the various arrangers, Primeau gives Catherine a bit more solo space than would be usual for a guest performer, and the guitarist changes back and forth from a distorted sound that inches the music towards a jazz-rock feel at times. However, he never overwhelms the band, and in fact contributes the beautiful ballad "B.A.

The end of the record is given over to a fascinating, nearly three-minute drum solo by Primeau where he plays music, not merely rhythm, and an instrument, not just the drums. The track ends too quickly, leaving me wanting more. In fact, the whole record ends too quickly. The highest form of compliment I can give is that this band should be recorded live, so we can hear how they really sound, and feel how an audience can be swept away, smiling all the while.

Visit Bernard Primeau on the web.


Track Listing: Street Mode; Groan'in; Times Past; Crusher's Last Stand; B.A. (Beatrice); The Message; Alternative System; Solo pour Batteurs.

Personnel: Bernard Primeau: drums; Philip Catherine: guitar; David Watts: bass; John Roney: piano; Bruno Lamarche: tenor saxophone; David Grott: trombone; Bill Mahar: trumpet.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Swing'in Time | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "New World" CD/LP/Track Review New World
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "Tournesol" CD/LP/Track Review Tournesol
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Tuesday Prayers" CD/LP/Track Review Tuesday Prayers
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Acceptance" CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979" CD/LP/Track Review No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979
by John Sharpe
Published: August 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!