Apr 29 2014
Rêve éveillé is one of those albums that leaps off a cliff, more concerned with the beauty of its aerial acrobatics than learning to fly before gravity wins out. In the instance of the new release by Cordâme + François Bourassa, gravity never had a chance.
A live performance recording, this lovely mix of chamber jazz and folk music possesses an effervescent beauty that could walk across clouds and outshine the sun. Led by bassist & composer Jean Félix Mailloux and featuring pianist François Bourassa, this septet creates an enthralling set of music that would seem without pause if not for the exuberant applause from the audience between songs. It’s an album that has such a massive personality that it is best to exist as a listener only in the moment, absorbing the music as it presents itself, with no regard to what has come before and what is on the horizon.
Now, songs do have their distinct personalities: The giddy buoyancy of “Reunion,” the folksy charm of “Calliope,” the unbridled urgency of “Osiris,” the burgeoning passsion of “Anne,” the breakneck charge of “Euterpe,” the enfolding embrace of “La Route de la Soie,” the rising tides and crests of “Dans la tête de M. Sakamoto,” and the melodic heartbreak of “Beyrouth” But these are merely facets of an omnipresent beauty that hangs over each and in their entirety, defined by rapturous melodies and a graceful motion that holds firm even when tempos reach a fervid climax.
It’s an album that breathes harmony.
It’s an album that requires immersion, and rewards it, too.
It’s an album that plays itself out one act at a time, like chapters in a book, yet provides a powerful sense of timelessness, a story without beginning, without end.
It’s an album that lives on the edge of the dramatic and at the heart of the poetic.
It is outstanding, and absolutely gorgeous.
Your album personnel: Jean Félix Mailloux (bass), Marie Neige Lavigne (violin), Sheila Hannigan (cello), François Bourassa (piano), Annabelle Renzo (harp), Isaiah Ceccarelli (drums), and Guillaume Bourque (clarinet, bass clarinet).
Released on Malasartes Musique.
Jazz from the Montreal scene.
Other things you should probably know:
Bassist Mailloux and clarinetist Bourque are two thirds of Bomata Trio, and their 2013 release Aromes d’Ailleurs was really pretty wonderful. Also chamber music, but a bit more spacious, a bit more serene. One of my favorites from 2013. You can read that review HERE.