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Album Review

Even though it is billed to each participating musician, La Légende de la Pluie (The Legend of Rain) can be seen as the "real" second album by Justine (saxophonist Joane Hétu, keyboardist Diane Labrosse, drummer Danielle P. Roger; only bassist Marie Trudeau is missing), with guests Zeena Parkins on electric harp and Tenko on vocals and table guitar taking a more prominent role than on the band's first album (Suite). La Légende de la Pluie is made of five ten-minute tracks, one composition per participant, with a prologue and an epilogue of five minutes each, written by Hétu and Roger, who were also in charge of the project. Premiered in November 1990 at the New Music America festival, it was recorded two years later for Ambiances Magnétiques. The music is more moody, in half-tones, and improvisation-based than what is found on (Suite), but it also shows the direction Justine was taking in 1992 and can be heard on its last CD Langages Fantastiques. Each composer develops its personal language: Hétu's "L'Attente" (The Waiting) foretells the direction of her project Castor et Compagnie, Parkins' "Les Pluies Acides" (Acid Rains) leaves a lot of room for improvisation, and Labrosse's "Le Déluge" (The Flood) shows her gift for cinematic musical development, something that will be at the basis of her solo album Face Cachée des Choses. Some electronic percussion sounds in "L'Attente" and "Le Brouillard" can be hard to bear, but they are eventually left aside. More evocative, less aggressive than (Suite), La Légende de la Pluie takes Justine a few important steps away from their avant-pop/rock format. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1956 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

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

Zeena Parkins plays the harp, piano, accordion, and sampler in a variety of improvised, new music, modern composed, and avant-garde jazz settings. Born in Detroit, Michigan, she studied dance, harp, and classical piano, and earned a Fine Arts degree from Bard College. Parkins moved to N.Y.C. in 1984, where she began collaborating with other musicians in downtown's avant-garde music scene. She performed in Butch Morris' ensembles and in John Zorn's Cobra. She also formed Skeleton Crew with renowned...
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La Légende De La Pluie, Zeena Parkins
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