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Radio ›› Ellen’s Bar
26 octobre 2006
Par Réjean Beaucage in Voir (Québec), 26 octobre 2006


«C’est bluesy par moments, enfumé malgré les règlements, et ça s’écoute le soir venu.»

Ceux qui ont découvert le guitariste Antoine Berthiaume par ses deux premiers disques seront surpris: pas de triturations des textures ou d’improvisations totalement abstraites ici, mais plutôt un retour aux racines du jazz. Berthiaume, qui a fait ses premières armes dans le genre avec le prof Ben Charest au Cégep St-Laurent avant d’aller s’éclater à Londres avec Derek Bailey, s’entoure ici de deux solides acolytes: Michel Donato à la contrebasse, et Pierre Tanguay sans autre instrument qu’une batterie bien standard. Le trio de base. Le guitariste signe 9 des 11 titres en se souvenant de ses gigs à l’air du temps. C’est bluesy par moments, enfumé malgré les règlements, et ça s’écoute le soir venu. (4/5)

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1 septembre 2006
Par Félix-Antoine Hamel in La Scena Musicale #12:1 (Québec), 1 septembre 2006



Étiquette emblématique de la musique actuelle, Ambiances Magnétiques est sur le point de devenir la référence en matière de jazz contemporain au Québec. Pour son troisième album pour ce label, le guitariste Antoine Berthiaume offre un programme de neuf de ses compositions, soutenu par le maître-contrebassiste Michel Donato et le «batteur-maison» de l’étiquette, Pierre Tanguay, ces derniers contribuant chacun d’un morceau de leur cru. Alors que les projets précédents de ce jeune guitariste étaient plutôt expérimentaux (son premier album Soshin nous permettait de l’entendre avec nuls autres que Derek Bailey et Fred Frith), ce récent disque se situe tout droit dans la lignée des trios à la Pat Metheny ou John Abercrombie. Parmi les pièces, La Betterave, un calypso de Tanguay auquel seul le ténor de Sonny Rollins semble manquer, offre un contraste bienvenu au sein d’un répertoire résolument moderne. Berthiaume démontre un exceptionnel contrôle de son instrument, jouant dans un style complexe mais fluide, alors que ses acolytes lui donnent un appui idéal et se montrent flexibles dans leurs accompagnements. Impressionant!

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1 septembre 2006
Par Ken Waxman in The WholeNote #12:1 (Canada), 1 septembre 2006


«… Berthiaume shines with a natural romantic bent.»

Forty years after he arrived on the scene, Michel Donato is still Montréal’s first-call jazz bassist. These CDs demonstrate why Donato, 64, who has backed everyone from chansonier Gilles Vigneault to pianist Oscar Peterson, is in such demand. […] On Ellen’s Bar, for instance, he adds his rock-solid rhythm to 11 originals otherwise featuring two players better-known for their commitment to musique actuelle: guitarist Antoine Berthiaume and drummer Pierre Tanguay. […] Here the guitarist’s supple fills and soloing lie within parameters set by Herb Ellis and Bill Frisell, giving the CD a country-ish vibe. […] Similar teamwork is apparent on the other CD, although the guitarist takes most of the solos. In this smaller setting Donato is more sensed than heard, though his oblique, sturdy piloting remains. The nub of Tanguay’s accompaniment is rim shots and ratamacues, unique additions to the guitarist’s lapidary solos. Using chiming runs, Berthiaume shines with a natural romantic bent. Prime instance of this is Nose Worthy. Sprinkled with C&W licks, the straightforward melody skirts ordinariness due to drum rolls and pops plus a walking bass line. Tough plucking from Donato rescues other tunes where the guitarist’s finger-picking threatens to move into supper club territory. […]

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1 septembre 2006
Par Andrew Choate in Signal to Noise #43 (ÉU), 1 septembre 2006

Coupure de presse

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9 août 2006
Par Dolf Mulder in Vital #538 (Pays-Bas), 9 août 2006


«… a true jazz album. And a very nice one too.»

With Ellen’s Bar guitarist Berthiaume delivers his third album for Ambiances Magnétiques. He debuted with Soshin, a free improvised record with duos with Derek Bailey and Fred Frith. His second one was also a free improvised record with some young musicians of Berthiaume’s generation. For Ellen’s Bar Berthiaume formed a trio with Pierre Tanguay on drums and Michel Donato on bass. No free improvised explorations this time, but a true jazz album. And a very nice one too. Nicely grooving from beginning to the end. Tanguay and Donato turn out to be perfect partners for Berthiaume who does some nice solowork with great control. Most pieces are the same in mood and tempo, not fast, not too slow. But always very captivating. No loose ends on this one.

Pierre Cartier also returns for his newest cd to the classic jazz period. With Jean Derome (sax and flutes), Jean René (viola), Tom Walsh (trombone), Bernard Falaise (guitar) and Pierre Tanguay (drums), Pierre Cartier (voice and bass) offers a new collection of jazz-inspired songs. As in earlier song cycles Cartier uses poems from diverse french-speaking poets. For his new album, he choose poems from Québécois poets (Michel Garneau, Gaston Miron, Pierre Perrault, Paul-Marie Lapointe), plus one by Apollinaire and another one by himself. To be more precise, for this new cycle of songs Cartier sought inspiration by jazz standards and Broadway love songs. Nevertheless his songs have a definitely french flavor, and not that typical american character of the predecessors that Cartier inspired. They are for example not so smooth, because Cartier has his very own way of placing accents in his singing style that is sometimes close to dissonance. Most ballads continue in their own slow tempo giving plenty of room for nice solowork by Derome, Walsh and the others.

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1 juillet 2006
Par BLG in Downtown Music Gallery (ÉU), 1 juillet 2006


«The eleven originals presented here are bursting with vitality and showcasing a firm and lively guitar style, while relying strongly on the jazz trio tradition.»

Leading such an outstanding group of players in the production of an album requires much candor and courage. Guitarist Antoine Berthiuame is joined by Michel Donato and Pierre Tanguay in this dynamic trio that will groove your heart and soul. Ellen’s Bar unveils a different side of Antoine’s multifaceted activities. The eleven originals presented here are bursting with vitality and showcasing a firm and lively guitar style, while relying strongly on the jazz trio tradition. Except for the pieces written by Donato and Tanguay, Berthiaume has dedicated all his compositions to friends made in Montréal and New York over the last few years, while he was studying. So far, Montréal-based guitar great, Antoine Berthiuame, has been involved with three superb improvised discs, Soshin, duos with Derek Bailey & Fred Frith, Leaves and Snow, a trio with Quentin Sirjacq & Norman Teale and duo with Japanese guitarist Takumi Seino. For this new disc, Antoine unveils something completely different, his jazz guitar trio. Antoine has put together an excellent trio of veteran players, with Michel Donato on bass and the ubiquitous Pierre Tanguay on drums. The trio swings with infectious glee. Antoine wrote all but two of the tunes, with one by each other band-member. Antoine has a sunny, Pat Metheny-esque tone, yet writes pieces more difficult than Metheny often does. The trio play tightly together, as well as around one another in circular motion. This is a marvelous trio, where each member is an integral part of the whole. On Mr. Donato’s Le Dentiste, the trio swirls around one another, yet stay connected throughout. Antoine sounds like Lenny Breau here, playing with astonishing grace and that inventive spirit. Weiny is a lush, elegant bluesy ballad that is just so fine. The title track is a sly one with a rich melody that you will forget. The ever-dependable and ever-crafty drummer, Pierre Tanguay, is a marvel of inventiveness, always balancing between swinging and playing around the pulse perfectly. Ellen’s Bar, is this month’s best jazz guitar disc by one trio, whereas the Tom Chess disc mentioned last week featured six trios.

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