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Album Review

Joue Free (Play Free) is a return to basics for clarinetist Robert M. Lepage, as he pays a very personal tribute to Jimmy Giuffre. His acolytes are experimental guitarist Bernard Falaise (of Papa Boa and Klaxon Gueule) and jazz bassist Normand Guilbeault (the Riel project). This CD presents delicate music on the border of chamber jazz and free jazz. Lepage's clarinet soars, drawing melodies light as a feather, while Falaise weaves textures with his pedal-volume electric guitar and Guilbeault anchors it all with his jazzier approach. As free as it may be, these pieces are partly written down and constantly kept under control. The music always remains rather calm, there are no sudden outbursts of energy — but there is no need for them. The listener is quickly drawn into the mood. On "Arlequinade," guitar and clarinet are fused in an impromptu melody: a magical moment. Two pieces were created for films, but they are indistinguishable from the other tracks. Some might find Joue Free a bit linear or too toned down, but this is a good occasion to hear Falaise, still under-recorded in this kind of context. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 1965 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

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

A Montreal native, where he is still based, guitarist Bernard Falaise exploded on the new music scene in the late '90s, appearing in many Ambiances Magnétiques-related outfits, especially in avant rock-oriented groups that included drummer Rémi Leclerc (Miriodor, Les Projectionnistes, Papa Boa). He is also active on the free improv scene, playing with Klaxon Gueule and Robert M. Lepage, among others. His distinctive guitar style, at times raw and twangy, at others highly atmospheric, set him apart...
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Joue Free, Bernard Falaise
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