(All Album Reviews by Vinylroolz)
Here's another great reissue/remaster from the folks at ProgQuebec. Yves Laferriere was the bassist/leader of the band Contraction and later was a member of the acclaimed Ville Emard Blues Band (VEBB for short). This self-titled album was released in 1978.
Laferriere wrote all the music for this album, but his bass playing never overpowers any of the selections. His playing stays in the backround and provides a solid foundation for his band, which includes members from other essential Quebecois bands of the time period: guitarist Rene Lussier and violinist Bernard Cormier (from Conventum), fellow Contraction mate Richard Perotte on drums, vocalist Monique Fauteaux and sax/flute man Libert Subirana (from Harmonium) and Jean Vanasse on vibes (from l'Orchestre Sympathique) as well as Pierre Saint-Jacques on keyboards.(Not sure where he came from, but he's great!) There are at least ten other musicians who make an appearance here and there as well.
If you're at all familiar with the Quebec music scene during this time, you'll know to anticipate influences of rock, folk and jazz. You won't be disappointed here.
Overall, I suppose the music could be lumped into the "light jazz" category, music you can safely put on while entertaining dinner guests while enjoying it yourself. Laferriere notes that he "recorded this album as a stepping stone towards film scoring". But there's a lot going on here upon closer inspection.
There are slow, almost ballad-like numbers, more funky efforts with wordless vocals and sax, fusiony tracks with a bass/guitar/vibes formula that brings to mind Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and other numbers that feature pairings of either violin/guitar, vibes/Rhodes piano, violin/grand piano, guitar/Rhodes, Vibes/guitar, and sax/flute thrown into the mix all over the place.
The real star on this recording, to me, is guitarist Rene Lussier. He's an awesome talent and really gets to cut loose a few times. But the vibes, keyboards and violin work are all stellar. The vocal parts, thankfully, are brief but well done. The sound on this remastering is excellent. Well-defined separation and no needless over-compression.
This is a very nice issue and a good look into Laferriere's skills. Any fan of the 70s Quebec music scene will appreciate this one. A unique archival release and well worth the time.