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Plates-formes Et Traquenards

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Album Review

The FIMAV festival offered the opening slot of its 25th edition to frequent participant and Montreal musique actuelle mainstay Jean Derome, who rose to the occasion with, basically, a new band and two new long-form compositions. Plates-Formes et Traquenards documents the event in stellar clarity. Derome's Dangereux Zhoms is a long-standing project, though it spent most of the 2000s under wraps. The unit had been reactivated in 2007 to release a new CD (To Continue), but none of that material is found here. However, the current DZ lineup provides the backbone of the project: Derome on flutes and saxophones (and some creative conducting), trombonist Tom Walsh, pianist Guillaume Dostaler, bassist Pierre Cartier, and drummer Pierre Tanguay. Augmenting the group are a cross-section of Ambiances Magnétiques' larger circle of players, including vocalist Joane Hétu, guitarist Bernard Falaise (of Miriodor fame), and turntablist Martin Tétreault. This 12-piece ensemble performs two long suites (35 minutes each) by Derome, compositions that blend his typical driving odd-metered themes — the second and last parts of "Plates-Formes," part six of "Tranquenards," other sections, too — with jazzier bits, textural playing, and improvised and semi-improvised sections in subgroupings. Overall, the project sounds like a cross between Derome's jazzier writing and Canot-Camping, his conducted improv project. It is prime Derome: soulful at times, perplexing at others, chaotic one moment, extremely well organized the next, both majestic (in a serial music way) and silly (in a circus fanfare way). A must for fans of Derome's musique actuelle and an excellent audio recording to boot. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 29 June 1955 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the most visible figures of Montreal's musique actuelle scene, saxophonist and composer Jean Derome is also one of the instigators of the music community represented by the Ambiances Magnétiques label he co-founded. The fact that he is a graduate of the College of Pataphysics and was the recipient of the prestigious Freddie Stone Award in 1992 goes a long way to explain the blend of absurd, childish fun and dead-serious avant-garde jazz found in his compositions. When asked what kind of music...
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Plates-formes Et Traquenards, Jean Derome
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