Drummer Guy Thouin is the sole surviving member of Le Quatuor De Jazz Libre De Quebec, a radical free music unit that was active – both politically and musically – in Montreal between 1967-73. Here, he’s joined by two fellow veterans of the Montreal free scene, saxophonists Bryan Highbloom and Raymon Torchinsky, for a 21st century recapitulation of that original urge to burn. Read more

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. Read more

It’s not a secret anymore: the recording industry is really singing the blues these days. In the 1980s, the majors were predicting that the compact disc would wipe the good old vinyl record off the map.

Thirty years later, the CD is now under siege, taken over by digital downloads, even by its once-condemned predecessor, vinyl! The current digital onslaught has turned everything upside down, but vinyl never disappeared completely like its predecessors, the phonograph cylinder and the 78-rpm record. But if it hadn’t been for DJs, even that peculiar brand of music-lover known as the audiophile, it may well have fallen by the wayside. Read more

Guy Thouin is a key figure in Quebec musical history. As percussionist for the Quatuor de Jazz Libre du Quebec in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Thouin helped pioneer the free-jazz scene that still flourishes in the province. He also drummed on Robert Charlebois’ hit “Lindberg” — a rare pop song with a spontaneously improvised arrangement — and participated in the Walter Boudreau-led collective L’Infonie, listed in the group’s liner notes as Yug Niuoht. Read more

Is there such a thing as idealism in the record business?

Well, yes. It isn’t common, but often a new label will come along that only seeks to promote talent or to serve an area it thinks has been neglected.

It’s actually the history of the recording industry. The few big labels get too big. Too conservative. Too slow.

The motivation of the independent labels rarely is purely altruistic, it has to be admitted, but blues, country, folk or any marginal genre wouldn’t have survived without it.

At a time when the record business is reeling and music is marketed in ways that would have been thought radical a few years ago, there should be no place for idealism.

Alternatively, it’s needed more than ever.

Cue the entry of Bronze Age Records, created by sax player Ra Torchinsky and his son Joe. Read more

N’eût été le Quatuor de jazz libre du Québec (QJLQ), Lindberg, L’Osstidshow et l’Infonie n’auraient certainement pas été aussi révolutionnaires. De 1967 à 1974, ces créateurs exaltés ont absorbé les idées de Cecyl Taylor, d’Ornette Coleman, de John et Alice Coltrane, de Sun Ra, de Rashied Ali et de Milford Graves, pour ne nommer que ceux-là, pour les souffler au visage d’un peuple qui en avait bien besoin au sortir de la Révolution tranquille. Quarante ans plus tard, l’un de ses fondateurs fait revivre la démarche du QJLQ en fondant le Nouveau Jazz Libre du Québec (NJLQ). Read more

Avant-hier, il se faisait rare. Hier, il l’était moins. Aujourd’hui, il se manifeste au grand jour. Bon. Le sujet commun aux trois phrases précédentes s’appelle le vinyle. Celui envoyé par Guy Thouin, batteur du Nouveau Jazz libre du Québec (NJLQ), comme il fut celui de l’ancien. Déclinons.

Il y a peu, donc, on a eu droit à une double surprise. La surprise numéro 1 ? Un enregistrement du NJLQ dont on n’avait pas entendu parler depuis des lunes, les antiques et non les indiennes. La numéro 2 ? L’enregistrement en question, en fait il s’agit d’un live, a été proposé en « vaille-Nil », comme on dit en langue chouan. Read more