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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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LORRAINE DESMARAIS

Couleurs de lune

ANALEKTA AN 2 9884

 

 

  1. Couleurs De Lune
  2. Forever Young
  3. Rose
  4. How Can You Miss a Fruit Salad?
  5. Largo
  6. Week-End A Toulouse
  7. Alberto
  8. Bolero
  9. Tsai-Tsien!
  10. Danny Boy (Londonderry Air)
Lorraine Desmarais (piano); Frédéric Alarie (double bass); Camil Bélisle (drums)
Recorded Studio 451, Montréal, Québec, Canada (03/05/2012-03/06/2012) [48:50]

 

I wanted to like this very much more than I did. Lorraine Desmarais is a composer and pianist versed in both classical and jazz music and she's worked with a host of musicians in many musical fields in her native Canada and beyond. An award winner and well reviewed artist, she plays with impeccable tonal burnish and control. All the tunes are her own compositions except Danny Boy (The Londonderry Air) which is heard in her arrangement.

There are certainly plenty of imaginative touches and she is exceptionally well couched in a rather (admittedly) staid trio formula. There's pretty, rather Latin feel to Couleurs de lune - but the tune itself is pretty anodyne. True, her sparky right hand flashes fluidly in Forever Young, a song that desperately wants to turn into a waltz - a creative tension that works well. Her classicist credentials are marked in How Can You Miss A Fruit Salad? (it may be better in French) but for all the feints towards blues licks in Largo it all sounds pretty but decorative; there's no real bite to this dish, just endless salads.

The change of tempo and ethos half way into Alberto intrigues and I wish more had been made of this device. But all too often this is jazz piano lite, indeed trio lite, with unfocused themes, an undeveloped approach to the trio - bass and drums not nearly used creatively enough - and a wry approach generally. However sympathetic I am to the performers  and however much I may respond to this wryness and humour, and however much I may admire the technique on display, I didn't for one moment believe in the jazz side of things.

Jonathan Woolf 



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