despite everything, i’ve been busy making some new music. i can’t wait to share it but for now here’s a tiny visual teaser of what we’ve been up to!
Excited to announce the release of new music from Frédéric Hébert! I really enjoy playing his music and I think you will enjoy listening to it. The album can be found here and you can also check out cool photos below taken by Marc-André Dupaul taken at the album release show at Le Zaricot in Ste-Hyacinthe, QC.
I had the immense pleasure of playing several saxophones and clarinet on the latest album by History of Gunpowder, and now you can have the immense pleasure of listening to it! Alex Morison wrote some fantastic material for this and I think the final product is something really special.
Stream it here or on your favourite streaming service!
Very excited to announce the release of the first song from the upcoming album of Fred Hébert, which I am very proud to have been a part of!
the album will be released on January 14 at Le Zaricot (Ste-Hyacinthe) and January 16 at Résonance Café (Montréal).
you (yes, you!) can support the album here.
Fred writes wonderful music and it is a joy to be a part of his ensemble!
recent sounds with the great Masashi Usui at Resonance Cafe!
Andrew Boudreau is a fantastic pianist and friend who I have been playing with in different contexts for many years now, and earlier this year I decided to finally document some of the music we make together. I think some of it turned out pretty cool so stay tuned as it finds its way onto the internet!
it’s the History of Gunpowder’s third album, and the first that i’ve played on! after a year and a half of gigging with this band it’s really cool to see the final product!
hope you enjoy…
I wanted to share this quote from Tigran Hamasyan from a masterclass I attended at McGill University in 2013. Tigran’s music is really inspiring to me and incorporates a lot of disparate elements from jazz, folk, and Armenian sacred music, but what holds it all together is his profound sense of melody. I listen to and play many different kinds of music and his advice here is something that rings true to me both as a listener and a player – and is something I’m constantly trying to improve at!
One of the things that became very important to me is that when doing improvising, I’ve realized that – while transcribing a lot of stuff and listening to a lot of amazing musicians play – what makes an amazing improviser is somebody that’s actually playing melodies. Not thinking, oh I’m going to play this scale down, and then I’m going to play this arpeggio, then I’m going to play this cool chord. The main point to me, is that when you improvise, you improvise a melody. And it makes it more challenging, because to be simple in this situation is harder than to be complicated. It’s easy to play complicated scales and complicated arpeggios that you come up with, but it’s really hard to play a simple melody over fast-changing chords, or play three notes that would make a melody over three or four chords. So that’s one thing that became very important to me while I improvised.
to commemorate the recent passing of the great Paul Bley, here’s a little transcription i did a while back of one of his solos (just the melody line because i’m a saxophonist).
he had an indomitable sense of melody, an authoritative touch, a deep sense of the blues, and was fearlessly innovative. this particular solo is cool to me because of his minimal left-hand comping, the beautiful flow and funkiness of the rhythm, the almost sing-song melodic quality and the weird but clever subversion of the harmony – made all the more wild by its departure from Coleman Hawkins’ wonderful solo.
and more than 50 years later it still sounds like it comes from the future!
(starts around 3:13)