Solo / Quartet
François Bourassa – now with ten albums of original music under his belt – has become an ambassador for Canada’s thriving jazz community at an international level. A paragon of both consistency and evolution, he continues to seek out new challenges for himself, his colleagues, and his growing community of listeners. This year, Bourassa will finally release his first solo piano album, L’Impact du silence, recorded at La Buissonne in the southeast of France. His touring band and main artistic outlet so far, the François Bourassa Quartet, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021.
“His solo piano music is right on the line between composed and improvised … Is Maurice Ravel dreaming of Paul Bley — or is it the other way around?” – Ethan Iverson, liner notes. The pith of music is in the silences. People tend to overlook the importance of silence, but when used wisely, it can be moving and poetic. Silence has a powerful impact on listeners.
Formed in 2017, CODE Quartet (formerly DJVF) is a powerhouse collective of four of Canada’s leading jazz composers and improvisers. Based in Montréal, it includes Jim Doxas on drums, alto and soprano saxophonist Christine Jensen, Adrian Vedady on bass, and trumpeter Lex French. The chord-less quartet features original compositions that draw from each member’s unique background, depicting many moods and creating an organic dialogue. Their soundscape is diverse and refined, resulting in an exciting and engaging listening experience. In 2021, Code Quartet will release their debut album Genealogy with Justin Time Records.
New album: Genealogy (Justin Time Records)
Release: 23 April 2021
Malika Tirolien’s soaring voice immediately grabs your attention. Her well-crafted compositions present effusive emotions with fresh takes on various genres, the whole infused with a deep knowledge of jazz. Her electrifying performance on I’m Not The One (2M+ YouTube views), a prime track of Snarky Puppy’s Grammy-winning album Family Dinner – Volume 1, inspired countless covers worldwide. Tirolien’s latest release Higher is the second in a tetralogy featuring earth, air, fire and water themes. It is a shining example of afro-futuristic styling, co-produced with Bokanté creator Michael League. The album showcases a new genre called “high soul”, mixing R&B, soul, hip hop and jazz to create the soundtrack of a psychedelic trip from anger to forgiveness.
New album: Higher (produced by Malika Tirolien and Michael League)
Release: 26 February 2021.
The Doxas Brothers have been making music together since they were in the crib. By the time they had reached their mid-teens, much to their parents’ concerns, both brothers began working regularly in nightclubs. They caught the tail end of what could be called the “good old days“ of Montréal. Although Jim and Chet have performed countless times together in various settings, their new group, The Doxas Brothers, represents two musicians with a deep bond sharing their vision in a quartet setting featuring ECM pianist Marc Copland and Montréal first-call bassist Adrian Vedady.
New album: The Circle (Justin Time Records).
Released: 23 October 2020