Rémi Bolduc Trio
Rémi Bolduc Trio
Rémi Bolduc – Alto saxophone, producer, arranger, artistic director, production manager
Sheila Hannigan – Cello
Piano – John Roney
Manufactured by – RSB (3)
Copyright © – Les Productions Art And Soul
Phonographic copyright ℗ – Effendi Records
Licensed Through – Les Productions Art And Soul
Recorded at – Studio Boutique De Son
Mixed at – Studio AKW (2)
Designed at – Cri Communications
Published by – Sam Fox Publishing
Published by – K.P.M.
Engineer – George Doxas
Graphic design, photography – Pascal Milette
liner notes, proofreading – Peter Christensen (5)
Mixed by, producer – Andre White
Photography [group] – Mathieu Rivard
Proofreading – Pascale Beaulne
liner notes – Emanuele Setticasi
Cover notes, art direction, production manager – Elaine Lafond
Written by – Herbert Ruff (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 11)
Label: Les disques Effendi
Sources of inspiration can, at first glance, come from the strangest of places. In addition to the seemingly endless reworkings of the Great American Songbook, contemporary jazzers are now looking further afield, with artists like the Bad Plus bringing an improvisational approach to songs by bands like Blondie and Black Sabbath. Brad Mehldau has mined the repertoire of Radiohead and Nick Drake, and Rachel Z has reimagined songs by bands such as Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden.
So when Rémi Bolduc, a French-Canadian alto saxophonist who has been making a name for himself in Canada in recent years, was looking for inspiration for a new project, he remembered all the children’s TV shows he’d not only watched, but listened to, whose credits are so memorable that they’ve stuck in his head. The result, Cote D’écoute, may strike a very specific chord with Quebec listeners who are old enough to remember the shows themselves, but it will ultimately appeal to anyone who remembers their own childhood shows. Bolduc and her trio of cellist Sheila Hannigan and pianist John Roney elevate the material – which almost qualifies as folk songs from her childhood – to standards. We may not recognize all the pieces, but they sound familiar and comforting.
A departure from Bolduc’s usual work as a free thinker, Cote d’écoute is his most eminently accessible recording to date. The band suggests a certain chamber-music vibe, and some of the arrangements unquestionably fit that definition. “Terre Humaine”, with its counterpoint between alto/piano unison and Harrington’s cello, and its more introspective nature, draws as much from classical composition as from the jazz tradition. On the other hand, “Grujot et Délicat”, with its sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit swing, clearly comes from a jazz space. Roney, who we heard to great effect in Ottawa as part of the Magic of Miles Davis show in February 2005, demonstrates here – and in all the tracks, for that matter – such stylistic breadth that one wonders when his name will emerge on the radar of the Canadian jazz scene.
While much of the program is accessible, there are moments when Mr. Bolduc’s more extreme qualities come to the fore. “Sol et Gobelet”, with its resolutely cheeky theme, breaks down into periods of absurd chaos and free exchange. The a capella rendition of Temps d’une Paix highlights Bolduc’s ability to take a simple theme and extend it to a four-minute tour de force on alto. Hannigan moves from almost baroque counterpoint to walking bass lines, showing that a classically trained cellist can indeed swing.
Cote D’écoute is already a popular hit in Quebec, but its charms should not be limited to those familiar with Bolduc’s sources. Intelligent, captivating, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, Cote D’écoute should strike a chord with the child in all of us.” ~ by John Kelman, April 29, 2005 (translated from french)