Montreal-based pianist Gentiane Michaud-Gagnon, aka Gentiane MG, got her start in music with the classical side. It was Bill Evans' Portrait In Jazz (Riverside Records, 1960) that nudged her in the direction of the possibilities that improvisation offered. With this in mind, it seems fitting that the cover art for her third album releaseWalls Of Glassfeatures a photo of a serious-looking artist gazing... where? Inward? Outward? Maybe both at the same time, as it was with Bill Evans on the cover shot of his influential Portrait album.
That influence can be felt on Walls Made of Glass, with a delicacy and precision of touch, a feel for melodies within melodies, subtle shifts in dynamics and unapologetic beauty throughout. Gentiane MG composed all eleven tunes here, but they sound like Keith Jarrett in his later career short improvised pieces; not quite composed, not quite totally improvised, with, largely, a "pulled from thin air, in the moment" feeling, bolstered on Walls Of Glass by the sometimes understated, sometimes assertive wizardry of drummer Louis-Vincent Hamel and bassist Levi Dover.
Evans' specialtyand to some extent Jarrett'swas an embrace of the Great American Songbook. Gentiane MG chooses to go her own way.
"What's so special about instrumental music," says Gentiane MG, "is the attraction that comes from the absence of words." The interpretations fall to the listener. With that in mind, call her sound (for one interpretation) "Walls made of softly luminescent, diaphanous curtains." It seems not like glass we look through, but Gentiane MG's pastel, or maybe watercolor interpretations of the beauty of existence. All kinds of beautymelancholy, lightness, darkness, the unseemly, the holy, the exalted, the tentative, the bold.
Prologue; Flowers Laugh Without Uttering A Sound; Walls Made Of Glass; The Moon, The Sun,
The Truth; Mesanges; Un Pied En Dehores Du Nid; Contemplating Joy; Burning Candle;
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