The Whole Note: Jazz, Eh

Originally published by The Whole Note | 27 Feb

Montreal’s Bronze Age Records is releasing new music on vinyl LPs, part of a widening movement convinced of the medium’s sonic superiority. One of its first releases further invokes the golden age of vinyl: En Direct du Suoni per Il Popolo (Bronze Age Records, http://bronzeagerecords.com) presents Nouveau Jazz Libre de Québec, a descendant of Quatuor Jazz Libre de Québec, the group that combined the liberating messages of free jazz and Quebec nationalism in the mid-60s. The original band’s sole survivor, drummer Guy Thouin, combines here with saxophonists Bryan Highbloom (tenor and soprano) and guest Raymon Torchinsky (alto) to create raw, energetic free jazz with all the emotional power that marked it in the 1960s. Thouin’s machine-gun snare and restless tom-toms drive the saxophones forward, whether it’s a distinctive take on Monk’s Bemsha Swing (here reconfigured as Bemsha Swingish) or the original Theme 25ieme Avenue.