The quintet of electric bassist Eric Normand features reed player Jean Derome and percussionist Michel F. Côté, leading improvisers from Montreal's creative scene who have developed highly original free improvisations based on graphic scores, drawings and notated melodies that include an imaginative John Tchicai cover. This excellent quintet was recorded live in 2009 in Normand's countryside hometown, Rimouski, Quebec.
The compositions drift freely between ambient, often noisy textures and minimalistic chamber and free jazz attacks. The sound is expanded with electronic effects, feedback and extended techniques. They mold the title piece's sonic envelope with impressive patience and self control. The musicians suggest an architecture comprised of unconventional, subtle elements and arresting, nuanced interactions, with enough space for all musicians to add personal interpretations.
The second song stresses a loose rhythmic core, articulated by vibes player Antoine Létourneau-Berger and Côté as the basis for sparse interventions. The cover of Tchicai's "Fields, Cows and Flowers" is a contemporary chamber improvisation that subtly touches the dramatic melodic outlines of the playful original. This piece highlights the highly personal language of Derome, cellist James Darling and Côté. The final piece, "Sur Deux Chaises," structures tension and features a series of game-like nuances and creative sonic collisions. Any tone, silent, childish or otherworldly as it may be, is welcome.
Imaginative and inspirational.
Sur Un Fil; Sur La Glace; Fields, Cows and Flowers; Sur Deux Chaises.
Jean Derome: flute, alto saxophone, bird call; James Darling: cello;
Antoine Létourneau-Berger: vibes, cymbals; Michel F. Côté: drums,
feedbacks; Éric Normand: electric bass.
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