We are very proud to annonce a new projet of ours. A lot of great, independent music was made in Montreal in the 90’s and early 00’s on smaller labels. When the physical distributers such as Fusion III went bankrupt, a lot of that music was lost along the way. We are hoping to re-release a lot of those gems in digital format and make them available for all to hear.
Our first candidate is Michael Alexander Gauthier/ Mike Gauthier Jazz. We will re-release his two records, First Installement (1995) and Reflections in Blue (2000). They will be soon be available worldwide on all available online platforms.
For now, enjoy Galilee on Youtube.
Label: Multiple Chord Music, 2018
Personnel – Erik Hove: alto saxophone; Nicolas Ferron: guitar; Alex Lefaivre: electric bass; Mark Nelson: drums.
In order to sonically describe the urbanity of his hometown – Montreal, Canadian electric bassist Alex Lefaivre assembles a solid quartet, establishing an interesting rhythm team alongside guitarist Nicolas Ferron and drummer Mark Nelson. Rounding out the group is alto saxophonist Erik Hove, who really knows how to build articulate phrases and crescendos, and then resolve them with no hesitation. This was exactly what he offered on the opening “The Righteous”, a laid-back 3/4 composition with an undeniable quest for beauty and singing melodicism. Yet, and before his turn, you may indulge yourself in a high-wire exteriorization by Ferron, who has a talent for saturated harmonies and melodic phrases sculpted with in-and-out luster.
The quartet is also in big on John Carpenter’s “Halloween”, the sole cover on the CD and where a cool, jaunty drumming and sparse bass accompaniment underpin the guitarist and saxophonist’s mysterious moves and individual flights. This is the first of three tunes played in five. The others are “Skyline”, a breezy yet disciplined effort with guitar/sax melodic unisons at the end, and the wishful closing piece “Yul”, which doesn’t reach an end without giving the drummer an opportunity to express himself with freedom.
Lefaivre doesn’t limit his actions to simply outline the harmonic progressions with notes of the chords since he improvises on six of them. He delivers in “Estelle”, a medium-tempo 4/4 song delineated by an amiable melody and rhythmically propelled by a jazzy brush drumming; “The Juggernaut”, which boasts a funk-enlivened bass groove over a well-crafted pulse that slowly bends into a rock tang; “Nostagia”, whose title discloses the mood; and also “Cascade”, which is positioned midway between a convivial Brazilian pulsation and the rigorous stability of a march.
Practitioners of an expressive modern jazz, the members of this quartet navigate different signature meters, maintaining typical song structures. The well-established communication among them drives us safely through reliable, engaging soundscapes.
01 – The Righteous ► 02 – Halloween ► 07 – Cascade
Intriguing high energy modern jazz originals Alex Lefaivre – YUL: Readers who live in Canada may recognize the album title – it’s the airport code for Montreal, where bassist Alex resides… he composed all the pieces, and his high energy bass playing is complimented by Erik Hove on Alto Saxophone, Nicolas Ferron on Guitar and Mark Nelson doing Drums… as you listen to the passionate strains of “The Righteous” (the only track available until this goes live on August 3rd, 2018), you will hear why I was strongly moved to write about Alex’s great music… the recording is just excellent, and each of the players has a distinctive voice on their instrument… a very satisfying tune.
Though I couldn’t find a video from this upcoming release, you can get a nice feel for how these gents play together in their performance of a tune called “Cascade”, below…
…isn’t that sweet? Be sure and SUBSCRIBE to Alex’s YouTube channel while you’re there, too… if that one intrigued you, you’re going to LOVE what they do with the studio recording of this excellent song, too… very concentrated and focused & perfect for a cruise through the minds of these great improvisational players!
My old ears couldn’t help but be wrapped up in the dense, rich and thick sounds the quartet paints on “The Juggernaut”… of course, I cheated a bit, as I listened to it with my headphones on – & can’t recommend strongly enough that you do the same; you’ll find yourself listening to this tune over and over again… in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets nominated for (and WINS) an award… a superb jazz excursion.
Of the eight (long) performances offered up, it is (unquestionably) the title track, “YUL”, that gets my vote for personal favorite… Alex’s bass is right at the forefront, yet not intrusive (in the least)…. it’s also the longest songs on the album, so each player has their chance to shine – BRILLIANTLY!
I give Alex and his musical compadres a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this excellent aural adventure. Get more information (plus, watch many videos) on Alex’s website. Rotcod Zzaj
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