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Pianist Francois Marcaurelle has been a noted musician in Canada for many years, having founded the popular jazz/fusion band "Tasman" in the early '80s and currently the active leader of trio and quartet groups. The latest of a number of recordings in his "Opus series, Opus No. 6 - Mode d'emploi lightly stirs the sounds of smooth jazz, classical, and cultural music.
With a style along contemporary lines, featuring catchy melodies interspersed with instrumental solos, the musicwhile not cutting edgeis still quite enjoyable and performed by Marcaurelle's highly accomplished quartet, which has recorded together over the years.
Marcaurelle plays with adroit and nimble fingers on acoustic piano and Fender Rhodes, augmenting his interesting, albeit familiar-sounding melodies. The music for the most part is a mélange of many styles that span from the '70s and '80sresembling Chick Corea's Elektric Band and other representatives of the genre. But the individual contributions of each musician are what make this a worthy listen.
The cool hipness of the opening number finds Marcaurelle laying down some Fender action supported by the funky backbeat of drummer Denis Mailloux, along with some nice solos by bassist Norman Lachapelle and guitarist Sylvain Provost. But it's not all about cool grooves, as revealed on "Pour Élianne and "Will You Need It, with acoustic piano and accordion-like instrumentation.
Lachapelle and Provost are wonderful guitarists. Lachapelle's electric bass playing is reminiscent of fretboard wizard Bunny Brunel, with melodic fillers behind each sustaining note; Provost's playing brings to mind Frank Gambale with speed, control, and the right tone. Two favorites are the street party rhythm of "Baskatong and the old school funk of "Bidule, each showing that what really matters is solid musicianship, revealed through this engaging music brought by Marcaurelle and his quartet.
Track Listing: 1 Afroswing
2 Pour Élianne
3 Prends le temps
4 Will you need it
5 Portrait of Alfred
7 Valse du présent
9 Le printemps
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.