Featured artists: SYLVAIN PROVOST &
jazz, classical, elaborate folk, or yet another hybrid music?
A banal question bettered by: What makes the music of guitarist
Sylvain Provost and bassist Norman Lachapelle unique and enduring?
Is it the inevitable outcome of their extraordinary rapport that
notes alone cannot explain – the two are cousins who have
been playing together since they were kids -- or is it their original
material that separates the wheat from the chaff, the noteworthy
composer from the accomplished musician?
who are sufficiently confident in their judgments not to allow
the elite categories of music determine their tastes (it’s
not classical, it’s not jazz, therefore I don’t like
it), won’t give a flying F major that the song book of Provost
and Lachapelle doesn’t conform to a particular genre. The
music this twosome have been quietly writing and performing together
since 1996 – much of it with internationally esteemed drummer
Claude Brochu -- including their most recent CD Live au Va-et-Vient
-- appeals to both the adventuresome and sophisticated ear.
from A to Z and back again, the Provost/Lachapelle songbook builds
and wends its way through complex harmonic structures, explores
and makes familiar the outer reaches of ideas still growing, and
after a deviation or two, digs in for the long haul before finally
arriving home, leaving the listener with a sense of having discovered
something unexpected that begs to be discovered again. No surprise
that, for the 2005 version of the world renowned Montreal Jazz
Festival, their concert sold out well in advance.
purist who regard every music as a test of their superior ear,
and the briefest lapse into melody as infra dig -- beneath
one’s intelligence -- the music of Provost and Lachapelle
will disappoint, for they are irrepressibly and unapologetically
lyrical. All their compositions feature strong melody while leaving
considerable room for improvisation.
guitar plucks out sounds that mimic the wind or the fledgling
flutter of wings which, when melded with Lachapelle’s velvet-smooth,
liquid bass, results in an intimate dialogue like no other. Together,
they make the case that music is the purest of the arts, that
in the hands of its ablest it represents what is best in us, and
that the special community engendered by making-music-with-others
is just as important as the music itself.
and Lachapelle are among the best at what they do. Their composing,
playing and remarkable complicity ennoble the listener as much
as the performer. For these reasons and more, they are among the
sonic radiances that are turning Montreal into one the great music
wonders of the world.
and Lachapelle record on the
to the duo perform the beautiful "Chemin d'Ivoire"