Four stellar musicians from the Montreal scene, whose resumes read like a cosmogony of local jazz, come together in the Supernova 4 quartet: Félix Stüssi on piano, Jean Derome on flute, bass flute, alto and baritone saxophones, Normand Guilbeault on double bass and Pierre Tanguay on drums. Unicum is the ensemble’s second opus. The first was hailed by the critics, and this one is sure to be no less so.
The musical galaxy proposed by these four gravitational forces is vast, but all the same, it is organized and structured in a classic and well-informed way by a modern jazz orbiting around the Hard and Post Bop axis inherited from the 60s, updated and nationalized (Le Reel du Pendu, a Quebec folk-tune in unleashed bop, is very energizing!). The melodies are sparing in length but straightforward and clear, leaving plenty of room for the explorations of each member of this elite band. Add blues references here, bossa elsewhere, and a mutually informed rhetorical dialogue between the rhythm section and the melodic-improvisatory space. Finally, a few ‘free’ effervescences, reasonably framed within a well-centred chromatic palette, round off an extensive set of charges. This is Jazz at its best and rooted, but not limited, in a Grand Tradition. It all sounds very learned, written like that, but it’s easy to listen to, and the general landscape suggested by the quartet is sunny, positive and fun.
Supernova 4’s album Unicum will be released on all platforms on Friday 2 February 2024. The launch will take place with 2 concert nights, Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd February at the Dièse Onze jazz club.