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A Summer's Night

Montreal

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Album Review

The very aptly titled A Summer's Night is a lost slice of turn-of-the-'70s Quebec psychedelia. After the October Crisis (October 1970), French Canadian music will take a resolutely national turn, leading to the rise of French-singing groups like Harmonium and Beau Dommage in 1973-1974 (prog rock group Morse Code will even switch from English to French around that time). However, A Summer's Night was recorded a little prior to the terrorist events that will precipitate the Quebec sovereignty movement. As a result, the music is lighthearted and the lyrics sung in English — the title track is the only song with French lyrics, and these are sung with a fake English accent! The lush voice of singer Fran Losier was Montreal's main asset. Comfortable in folk ("Circles and Line"), acid folk ("Infinity"), and jazz settings ("Summertime," "Third Floor Walkup"), she comes off as a surprisingly strong performer with good singing technique to boot (a rarity when dealing with...psychedelic-era rarities). Guitarist Jean Cousineau and pianist/bassist Gilles Losier round up the core of the band, which has a very pleasant kind of camaraderie going on ("A Summer's Night," "Sometimes in Stillness"). Recorded in 1970, the album was produced by Richie Havens, who also contributes sitar on the eight-minute acid-laced closer "Infinity." Definitely strong enough for the mainstream, this debut and sole album by Montreal should have been a hit. History decided otherwise. A very nice album, particularly for "What About the Wind?," "A Summer's Night," and "Infinity." ~ François Couture, Rovi

A Summer's Night, Montreal
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