|An evident burning commitment to the music: vocalist
Erika Angell and guitarist François Jalbert of Lucioles
(L’Astral. 4 July 2017. Montreal Jazz Festival. Review by Sebastian Scotney)
There are those familiar tell-tale signs that an interesting composer is around. The first thing one hears is a quiet buzz. Then you go to the gig, and find a band which is completely wired and alive, not just playing new music through a sense of workaday duty, but bringing it to life with a quite obvious passion, and a clear sense of imperative and mission. This was one of those gigs.
The composer in question is Guillaume Martineau. There is a touch of the madcap Loose Tubes-era Django Bates about him, and musically he is going to all kinds of interesting places. There is a Kenny Wheeler-ish earwormish-ness about some of the tunes – in fact he uses the vocalist (Swedish-born Erika Angell) in the same wordlessly soaring role that Wheeler wrote for Norma Winstone back in the day. But it was also hard not to think about film music – we were veering off in the directions of, say Francis Lai or 1990s Home Alone– era John Williams. And then we’re suddenly listening to a fairground organ. Or a toy music box. His stylistic range and variety of ambition reminded me of Mike Westbrook.
There are all kinds of textures in the instrumentation: a string trio made up of very strong players was there to give more heft to melody. But there was also harmonium and vibraphone, and both electric and acoustic guitars.
Having heard this music for the first time, I am looking to get to know it better. And remember the name because in this wonderfully cultured city his talent is going to be watered, nurtured, and to grow very tall: Guillaume Martineau.
This concert coincided with the launch of a new Lucioles album Théâtre Magique, the title inspired by Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf.
Guillaume Martineau (piano)
Robbie Kuster (drums)
Erika Angell (voice)
Simon Pagé (bass)
François Jalbert (guitar)
Nicolas Ferron (guitar)
Olivier Salazar (vibraphone, harmonium)
Mélanie Bélair (violin)
Bojana Milinov (viola)
Sheila Hannigan (cello)