The Jazzlab Orchestra, or more precisely the octet founded by Quebec double bass player Alain Bédard, also creator of the prolific jazz label Effendi Records, is back with a new pearl on its necklace, already rich with 6 other albums, including “Quintescence” released in 2019, which we celebrated in Couleurs Jazz Media and of which we can now regularly listen to excerpts in Couleurs Jazz Radio.
As its name indicates, the Jazzlab Orchestra is an experimental ensemble, which is not content to cover standards or to line up brilliant compositions. No, here we try, we risk, we innovate, we search… And we find* !
The jazz that flows from it is resolutely sophisticated and modern. It gives the beautiful part to the improvisations within a framework whose writing is always of high quality. The melody is never absent.
We are not, when listening to LogusLabusMusikus, in Free Jazz.
A word moreover on this intriguing title: LogusLabusMusikus
Logos ! The voice of reason: in the beginning was the Word, the Logos, the logic… Logus being a variant of it. The Word, the reason are transmitted by the word of the priest, of the abbot (Labus) Le Prez wearing the cassock or better still the monk’s habit? There remains the means to carry the word: In music of course, Musikus!
Have the learned compositions taken on a particular hue due to that strange period we all lived through, the first confinement of 2020? In any case the recordings took place in December 2020 and the mixing work was prolonged until May 2021, due to the second confinement… Our lives being decidedly punctuated if not at least limited, by this damn virus. Is it from these particular circumstances that emerges this desire, this pleasure to play together?
The multigenerational octet is made up of the best of Montreal jazz who take pleasure in improvising around complex and varied themes and rhythms, always surprising, sometimes daring and always inspired.
Note that the 9 compositions, long enough (between 6’35” and 11’15) allow time for the themes to develop and for the variations to explore and use multiple mutations.
The arrangements are the work of Auguste Le Prez, also a founding member of the Auguste 4tet… And alias Alain Bédard himself.
In “Quintescence” it was the pianist Félix Stüssi who had this role.
The Montreal-based Swiss pianist is of course still one of the pillars of this new Jazzlab Orchestra project, as are multi-instrumentalists Mario Allard and Benjamin Deschamps, and Samuel Blais, trumpeter Jacques Kuba-Séguin, and trombonist Thomas Morelli-Bernard.
Drummer and co-director Michel Lambert and saxophonist Samuel Blais are part of this new project.
Listening to the album in its entirety, from the first to the last track, which we strongly recommend, the cohesion, the connivance, between the musicians, the experience acquired during the previous projects, the mutual respect and the pleasure of playing together emerge.
A great work, listeners!
To listen also in selection on Couleurs Jazz Radi, of course.
Maybe some of you, readers, had the chance to listen to the first virtual concerts of this project, broadcasted on Couleurs Jazz Radio in December 2020?
Here are the titles of the nine compositions that we are going to quote here, and that already indicate the poetry and the humor that characterize the projects led by the leader Alain Bédard: La Grande Sauve Majeure / Humor de la Seconde Noche / Pum La Suite / Bluesy de Lunedi / Criucm / Le Grain blanc dans les Voiles / Casse-pattes/casse-gueule/casse-tête / Lunes & Marées / Compte-rendu II
The new experience of the Jazzlab Orchestra, as Alain Bédard likes to call it, is a learned album with rich harmonic textures, multiple surprises and original rhythmic breaks. It is also the result of creations already conceived for the Auguste Quartet.
LogusLabusMusikus, released under the Effendi Records label, is the anti industrial production, Art-isanat in its pure state.
An album for amateurs, enlightened music lovers, in search of authenticity!
Notice to all the programmers of Jazz Festivals and concert halls in search of authenticity and who would hesitate to serve the eternal soup of non-jazz musicians, but reputedly bankable.
Mario Allard, Alto, soprano and clarinet saxophones ;
Benjamin Deschamps, soprano and tenor saxophones and flute;
Samuel Blais, soprano saxophone and bass clarinet;
Jacques Kuba-Séguin, trumpet ;
Thomas Morelli-Bernard, trombone ;
Félix Stüssi, piano ;
Alain Bédard, double bass ;
Michel Lambert, drums ;
Auguste Le Prez, Compositions and arrangements.
from l. to r.: Mario Allard, Alain Bédard, Thomas Morelli-Bernard, Michel Lambert, Félix Stüssi, Benjamin Deschamps, Annie Dominique et Jacques Kuba Séguin