Concordia musician Rémi
It was hard to get Rémi Bolduc to stop long enough for an
interview, and no wonder. Between teaching music at both Concordia and
McGill, putting the finishing touches on his new album, rehearsing for
a series of concerts, and being the full-time father of two, the alto
saxophonist is a busy man these days.
On three successive nights in February, the saxophonist will play duo
concerts with three pianists: Moncef Genoud from Switzerland on Monday,
Feb. 10, Montrealer François Bourassa on Feb. 11, and New Yorker
Kenny Werner, with whom Bolduc recorded Tchat,
his new album for Justin Time Records, on Feb. 12.
The name of the concert series is Duos Intimes, which, to
hear Bolduc describe recording with Werner, could also have served as
the title of the new album.
Ive never played that quietly before, he said. Its
really smooth. Its more accessible than some of my [other] stuff,
which is nice.
isnt simple music, though. Bolduc explained that the albums
softness came from the rapport between him and Werner, which allowed the
two musicians to exchange complex musical ideas without resorting to excessive
volume or speed.
When youre a duo you have to be really sensitive, he
said. It makes you play less. But you can do more with space, with
silence, because youre only two.
Such close communication should also be in evidence in the duo concerts,
and although Bolduc acknowledged that it might be difficult to adapt to
three different partners in such a short time, he said he welcomed the
Its kind of crazy its a lot of music put together,
but I wanted to do it, he said. Originally, my idea was to
do more. I thought: four pianos, sax, drums. I wanted eight duos in a
row, but we just couldnt do it.
Bolduc said he was trying to give himself the same type of playing opportunities
in Montreal as a musician might expect in a large jazz centre like New
York City, where he lived for two years in the early 1990s.
In Montreal, you play once in a while, he said, while in New
York, you play every day, and that really makes you a better musician.
You need that experience, and thats what Im trying to create
Some might wonder how different the concerts will be, since the instrumentation
is the same for all three, but Bolduc was sure that someone attending
all of the shows would hear something different each night.
Its like having a conversation with different people
it wont sound the same with each one, he said. Moncef
[Genoud] will probably sound more straight-ahead, Kenny is going to sound
really wild, and with François, the music will be more complex,
because his tunes are pretty hard.
Bolduc said that his experiences recording Tchat
and rehearsing for the concert series have reassured him that his playing
continues to improve.
In Montreal, there isnt much happening on an international
level, he said. Its good to play with a guy like Kenny
and realize that youre on the right track. When you play at that
level, it helps you know that youre doing the right thing.
Rémi Bolduc and partners play Duos Intimes as follows: with
Moncef Genoud on Monday, February 10, 8 p.m., and with François
Bourassa on Tuesday, February 11, 8 p.m., at the Savoy, 59 Ste-Catherine
E. Tickets $7-12. 844-3500. He plays with Kenny Werner on Wednesday, February
12, 8 p.m., at the Salle du Gesù, 1200 de Bleury. Tickets are $10-15.
Call 861-4036 for more information. Tchat will be in stores in mid-February.