Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Steve Bilodeau: The Sun Though the Rain

Geannine Reid By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Steve Bilodeau announces his third album to date, The Sun Though the Rain. The project is a collection of spontaneous improvisations spanning a wide range of sonic landscapes: from the tranquil and ethereal, to the chaotic and the raucous. Highlighting saxophonist Richard Garcia and drummer Dor Herskovits with Bilodeau's guitar sonorities, the trio complements each other and with intense listening, explore many unexpected turns, wonders, and musical journeys along the way.

Bilodeau, Garcia and Herskovits met each other at the New England Conservatory in 2013, while they were each pursuing their Master's degrees. Immediately Bilodeau recognized the communication between them as an opportunity to try something that he had been wanting to try for a while, but needed special allies to do so; his idea was to compose and perform with a trio, with no bass. Bilodeau's goal was to create an album of total improvisation and therefore decided to present a record full of unpredictability and surprises. Bilodeau explains, "Improvisation is a microcosm of life, in the sense that nobody can predict what will happen, no matter how much they want to. To me this record feels a lot like how 2016 felt to me." The result is The Sun Though the Rain, which contains nine tracks performed by the trio.

"Veiled Reflections" starts with Garcia's warm saxophone filling the space with Bilodeau joining soon after. The two continue in the duet conversation, each listening and building upon one another's phrases. Bilodeau's use of sampling, using a delay pedal is very effective throughout the project and on this tune in particular, he utilizes it to full effect. By creating a looping ostinato that is played by the pedal, Bilodeau adds a second layer to the composition, building the story and making the compositional palate larger. The two are in no hurry, both are able to relax and let the moment unfold, listening, waiting for the moment of inspiration. Neither musician takes on a role of excessive note playing, instead, both develop musical colors and emotions. It is interesting how Garcia seamlessly blends into the harmonic movement and color scheme that Bilodeau creates, as a co-harmonist.

"In the Midst" begins with Herskovits setting the rhythmic pallet, a tribal beat that is both ancient and modern. Herskovits' drum playing is melodic and both Bilodeau and Garcia take his melodic approach and develop a harmonic commentary that is some of the most tonal or key oriented playing of the session. Even though it is completely improvised, the trio gives the illusion of form by changing feels and revisiting various musical motifs. The musicians complement each other brilliantly, which allows each to explore the musical moment in a more textural way instead of a technical one. Bilodeau explains his thoughts about his playing, "I wanted to approach the guitar like a producer, by choosing sounds and layers instead of just notes and chords, and I think the way Richard and I listen to and play off one another on this track is really intuitive and natural."

The success of The Sun Though the Rain is the trio's ability to gradually build the music, they follow the music and build up themes and harmonic colors as time passes. Each uses a less is more approach to create a complex music web, sometimes becoming more obscure and noisy in trajectory, and at times, becoming introspectively simple and quiet. Do not think you have it figured out though, every time you think it's a purgation of noise, the trio brings it into focus and comes back to another audible gesture of pure musical freedom victory. Bilodeau, Garcia and Herskovits follow parallel lines conjuring something new and unexpected in the purest time of all, in the moment. This is the core of The Sun Though the Rain a collective improvisational success.

Track Listing: Storm; The Smell of Rain, In the Mist; Asylum; A Crack in the Sky; Veiled Reflections; Free Me?; Love Astray; The Sun Through the Rain.

Personnel: Steve Bilodeau: guitar; Richard Garcia: saxophones; Dor Herskovits: drums, percussion.

Title: The Sun Though the Rain | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs" CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read "Resting in a Fold of the Fog" CD/LP/Track Review Resting in a Fold of the Fog
by John Eyles
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "The Things We Did Last Summer" CD/LP/Track Review The Things We Did Last Summer
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "The Stone House" CD/LP/Track Review The Stone House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 27, 2017
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017

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!