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Everything Must Change

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Album Review

Johanne Blouin has seen the light and shifted from pop to the more challenging and artistically rewarding jazz music. The French-Canadian singer has chosen a program of familiar material including classics, obligatory tunes by Joni Mitchell, and a Shirley Eikhard original. Her inaugural is made more auspicious by the company she keeps. Each sideman is a top of the list jazz craftsman and takes a turn sharing the spotlight. The interplay between Bobby Watson and Blouin on "You Don't Know What Love Is" stimulates performers and listeners. Watson's ending tremolos are a striking coda to an exceptional interpretation. The muted horn of Terell Stafford works behind Blouin on "My Funny Valentine" much the way Harry Sweets Edison worked his magic with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Blouin uses some tracks to show off her considerable scat technique. Her wordless vocalizing opening for "Air Mail Special" recalls not only Ella Fitzgerald, but Les Brown's opening to his big-band hit " "Lemon Drop." She has some fun interpolating "And the Angels Sing," "The Music Goes Round and Round," and "That's Amore"! Making them fit is one of the risks she takes during this session, pulling it off with aplomb. The rhythm section contributions to the album are immeasurable. John Hicks forsakes the usual route of the accompanist, not satisfied with mere comping, but adds subtle statements of his own during the vocals. This may fly against conventional wisdom, but once more it works. Curtis Lundy shares billing with Hicks as a major backer, letting Blouin ride his bassline on the opening of several tracks. Straight singing or scatting, ballad or up-tempo, this exemplary modern singer's first out-of-the-gate album is a winner.


Born: 1955 in Quebec, Canada

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Canadian vocalist Johanne Blouin is a gifted and multi-dimensional performer who has found herself moving back and forth from jazz and pop to musical theater. Born to musician parents in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1955, Blouin was interested in performing from a young age. Subsequently, she studied dance at the Royal Academy of Dance in Montreal, earned a B.A. in music from the Université de Montréal, and studied musical theater at the Banff School of Fine Arts. She first gained performance experience...
Full bio
Everything Must Change, Johanne Blouin
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  • 69,00 kr
  • Genres: Vocal, Music, Jazz
  • Released: 18 April 2000

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