YUL en écoute sur ICI MUSIQUE + critique de Frédéric Cardin

Alex Lefaivre et YUL : magnifique vol plané au-dessus de la ville

Le bassiste Alex Lefaivre a toujours plein de projets en tête. Le dernier en date est ce quatuor dont le premier album, YUL, fait une très belle entrée dans le catalogue (volumineux) de la musique inspirée de Montréal.

Lefaivre et ses amis Erik Hove à l’alto, Nicolas Ferron à la guitare électrique et Mark Nelson à la batterie proposent des promenades atmosphériques et groovy à travers la grande ville, des errances teintées ici de brouillard matinal, là de reflets scintillants d’éclairage nocturne. Parfois, on finit par la survoler doucement, sans trop de précipitation, mais avec assez d’énergie pour ne pas se sentir plongé dans un rêve éveillé et doucereux.

Sur YUL, la ville est belle, plutôt lyrique et mélodique, sertie d’harmonies contemporaines, mais pas rébarbatives. Un heureux mariage de modernité et de tradition. Montréal, quoi.

Cet album est un message d’amour et d’admiration pour cette grande métropole qu’on aime au moins tout autant que ces musiciens inspirés.

Ah oui, au fait : pourquoi YUL? C’est le code à trois lettres de l’aéroport international de Montréal.

Par Frédéric Cardin

YUL reviewed by All About Jazz

Alex Lefaivre: YUL

Surely this isn’t a Christmas recording released at the height of summer, you ask? Not a homage to the great Yul Brynner either? No, the title in question is less obvious and thankfully more interesting than that. Its appeal is a subtle kind, which is well suited to Alex Lefaivre‘s supportive sensibility as bassist. His strengths lie mainly in ideas, sketching out mood-evoking compositions, choosing effective bandmates and holding it all together at the center—not that he isn’t also capable of a tasteful solo or two when the time is right.

YUL‘s title actually comes from Montreal‘s airport code, and the recording conveys LeFaivre’s picture of his neighborhood in classy style. The pieces often rest somewhere between bop and balladry, largely groove-based with plenty of space for the group to stretch and play. Erik Hove gets the most prominent moments on saxophone, while Nicolas Ferron’s guitar evokes the smooth tone of Grant Green, alternately weaving alongside Hove’s nimble leads and hanging back in the rhythm-anchor role alongside LeFaivre’s syrupy electric lines. It would be missing the point to think of them as frontline or back line on a session like this anyway.

Rather, these pieces are mainly about creating a mood: often smoky and urbane, though sometimes with a left-field jolt (as in the wild, on-the-edge capering of the “Halloween” movie theme early on). “Cascade” also finds the group building to a collective clatter befitting its title, while most of the affair finds them content to groove along and explore each piece’s mood together. For those who’ve never been to Montreal, this glimpse of its urban nightlife is a classy and compelling taste.


YUL reviewed by Bird is the Worm

The Round-up: We grew up believing in lightning strikes of good luck

Here is some very good new music.

Alex Lefaivre Quartet – Yul (Multiple Chord Music)

This is wholly modern post-bop jazz, but there is something very old-school about Yul.  It’s like those classic Blue Note recordings where nothing groundbreaking was going down, but everything about the music was exciting.  Because if you get four musicians together who know how to trade volleys and honor a well-crafted melody when its presented them, and have as much fun comping a solo as they do riding one off to the horizon, well, it’s an electrical jolt that keeps you hitting the play button.  Bassist Alex Lefaivre gets that done on Yul, along with drummer Mark Nelson, guitarist Nicolas Ferron and an exceptional contribution from alto saxophonist Erik Hove.  Everyone sounds like they walked into the recording studio feeling at their best and ready to light things up.  Music from Montreal, Québec.

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazon


YUL featured in The Jazz Hole’s latest playlist

00:00 The Jazz Hole with Linus
02:12 Homage Claude Diallo, Linus Wyrsch
06:40 Crocodile Leni Stern, Gil Goldstein, Muhammed Faye, Princess Louise
11:35 Ties That Bind John Pittman
15:55 The Jazz Hole with Linus
18:39 Homiostasis John Pittman
23:36 VBlues Gilad Hekselman
30:20 Tokyo Cookies Gilad Hekselman
38:25 The Jazz Hole with Linus
42:28 The Righteous Alex Lefaivre Quartet
49:27 Estelle Alex Lefaivre Quartet
55:48 The Jazz Hole with Linus
56:34 Home John Pittman
59:43 Finish

Today’s episode of The Jazz Hole includes tracks from the brand new albums Kinship by John Pittman and Ask for Chaos by Gilad Hekselman. You also get to hear more music from Leni Stern’s 3 and from the Alex Lefaivre Quartet’s YUL, plus a track from the host of this show, Linus Wyrsch, from his own duo album with pianist Claude Diallo