L'OFF Festival de jazz… ‹ Alex Bellegarde and his quartet deliver audacious jazz compositions. Solos, harmonic tangents and textures and collective improvisation become a colorful musical complicity. Raw energy! ›
Recorded live at Montreal's Off Jazz Festival Alex's pieces head towards the progressive with intense grooves and abstract sounds, rooted in Latin and swing.
Luke Gilliam's take… ‹ I have just received a truly awesome album of modern improvised music that I feel is worth writing about here called Alex Bellegarde Quartet Live. It features Alain Mercure on drums, Michael Wanner on piano, Jonathan Lindhorst on saxophone, and Alex on double bass. I have mixed Alex live at the Distillery and am aware of what he is capable of but this disc blows the socks right off.
In particular this tune Wachoo Suite. The introduction is remarkably elegant thanks to the sensitive touch of Michael Wanner. On top of Alex and Alain comes Lindhorst with a very innocent response to Michael making you feel almost childlike. As Alain picks up in intensity they progress from a bluesy sound to something more chaotic, escalating on a journey of breakaway chord changes right to Alain's drum solo.
A sneaky break from the intro into something almost black magic. Very very subtle but so much control that the right hand unleashes some not-so innocent cowbell and cymbal accents to transport you in fear to the capoira courtyard. Kind of dangerous. And then to Alex's borderline baroque outro theme that shyly dissolves into a swing with Lindhorst all the while a broken and sultry expressionist.
This song is less of a song and more like a script to a film. A staggeringly incredible composition and performance to say the absolute least. Live at Focaccia, L'OFF Festival de Jazz de Montreal, 2003. When you add to this Alex's contribution to cutting edge spot theatre, multimedia, and experimental music in Montreal and Toronto I think you have a world class innovator. ›Luke Gilliam, artist, musician, producer, sound engineer, Distillery Jazz Festival, Toronto