Personnel: Ren? Lussier (guitar); Kate Hammett-Vaughan (vocals); Ron Samworth (guitar); Peggy Lee (contra guitar, cello); Clyde Reed (contra guitar); Coat Cooke (flute, clarinet, saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Graham Ord (piccolo, saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Saul Berson (saxophone, alto saxophone); Bruce Freedman (soprano saxophone); John Korsrud (trumpet); Ralph Eppel (trombone); Paul Plimley (piano); Dylan van der Schyff, Pierre Tanguay (drums).
Audio Mixers: Robert Langlois; Ren? Lussier.
Liner Note Author: Art Lange.
Recording information: Blue Wave Studios, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (02/18/1995-02/19/1995).
Editor: Ren? Lussier.
Photographer: Bill Smith .
Unknown Contributor Role: NOW Orchestra.
In early 1995, Montreal avant-garde guitarist Ren? Lussier flew to Vancouver, bringing with him drummer Pierre Tanguay, to meet with the NOW Orchestra. Recorded in the studio over two days, Le Tour du Bloc (Around the Block) is proof that the orchestra learned all of Lussier's tricks. This CD makes a great companion to the guitarist's previous album Le Corps de L'ouvrage, only expanding the sound palette, thanks to the 15-piece ensemble. The music is filled with stop-and-go signals, humorous circus-like licks, opposite melodies clashing into cacophony, and complex counterpuntal figures ending on ludicrous resolutions. "Premi?re Course" and "Le Tour du Bloc" are typical fast-paced pieces, full of twists and turns. "Call Now" takes a more subtle form, developing nice contrasting motifs. "Y'a Rien de Facile" is a bombastic show closer defused by a long fade out. Le Tour du Bloc features strong musical performances by Lussier and Tanguay, but also by John Korsrud (trumpet), Peggy Lee (cello), jazz pianist Paul Plimley, and Kate Hammett-Vaughan on vocals. Even though this album represents a singular experience for Lussier, it remains true to the style he developed in his early-'90s projects. ~ Fran?ois Couture
Option (3-4/96, p.111) - "...braying horns, pounding rhythms and rambling compositions...stampede through your front door and drag you by the ear through all your favorite haunts..."