Notes and Editorial Reviews
The idea of forming Maânouche Swing Quintet originally came up during the dazzling jam sessions that happen so often on the Montreal jazz scene. Such nights are opportunities for musicians to interact, progress and create new concepts. Having met that way around Lou Boustani, Damien Levasseur (guitar), Ivanhoe Jolicoeur (trumpet), Samuel Blais (saxophone) and Simon Pagé (bass) had the innovative idea of combining brass instruments and gypsy-style guitars. The musical understanding between all five men was such that talk of a recording project came up naturally. The originality of this disc lies in its blending the gypsy guitar sound with a complex jazz repertoire not easily available to gypsy musicians and the general public.
The traditional music of European nomads encompasses many influences from samba, tango and Slavic tunes to French accordion waltzes. Nonetheles, these features make the soul of this musical style identifiable from the first chord. The band members added 9/8 and 5/4 tempos to the usual gypsy jazz 4/4 and they created complex arrangements with diverse atmospheres, climaxes and variations. The album tracks were selected in common while developing a concept that combines great jazz highlights with brilliant original compositions. The quintet finds its own way following in the steps of Django Reinhardt who first blended the music of his people with the swing of his time. This album successfully carries on the master's approach without imitating him, with all the creativity and complexity of modern jazz. Read less
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