Bernard Primeau, Montreal Jazz Ensemble | Liaisons

Swing'in Time • 8 tracks • 49 Min.

A CD report
by David Fujino December 2005

Drummer Bernard Primeau could always groove, and his 60's influence from the jazz messenger, Art Blakey, is frequently mentioned, but there's so much more to Primeau and his music.

For one thing, Primeau knows how to encourage and support his musicians, as we hear in the Alan Penfold piece, "Times Past", a slow, moody solo vehicle for the delicately rock-tinged guitar of Philip Catherine. As sad interludes punctuate this gentle musical reminiscence, and Catherine richly keens away like Sonny Greenwich or Son Seals, drummer Primeau remains quietly in the background.

In "Street Mode", Primeau's love of modal tunes is borne out, and in "Groan'in" (surely a wry reference to Bobby Timmons' hit tune, "Moanin'"), the Blakey sound and forward motion approach is (nicely) in your face, with Catherine and the fluent pianist John Roney contributing brief and effective solos.

Primeau's fondness for sophisticated arrangements and a strong rhythmic pulse is exemplified in "The Message", by Vancouver's multi-talented Hugh Fraser — a tune which recalls "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and has trumpeter Bill Mahar and trombonist David Grott soloing with poise and big city drive.

"Solo pour Batteurs" is a tasty drum feature for the leader — and a last tune reward for the listener. It's all percussive tones and sticks on drum skin and bright splashing cymbals. Very tasty.

Bernard Primeau — drums
Philip Catherine — electric guitar
David Watts — double bass
John Roney — piano
Bruno Lamarche — tenor saxophone
David Grott — trombone
Bill Mahar — trumpet
We welcome your comments and feedback
David Fujino
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