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Alain Caron | “Conversations”

Meet Reviewer Damian Erskine

Alain Caron

This CD really caught me off guard. I thought I knew what to expect from Alain… Top notch fusion composition, flawless intonation and astounding chops. As the disc first started to spin and the first track, “No Pick” began.. I thought that the disc maker must’ve made a mistake. “Wow…Ray Brown duet?.. lucky day for mistakes!” (much better than when I got a “Prodigy” CD in my “Flecktones” jewel case!)

But, alas, it’s Alain playing a fretless/acoustic 6-string “MF” bass in a duet setting with a variety of pianists and a vibraphonists! This is a wonderful album. Alain’s tone is superb. Large fat, round and fully defined low register (it really does sound like an upright for the most part!) and articulate (but never thin) upper register. His playing is just a step above what even I expected from him (& I expect a lot from him!). He is swinging HARD! Great bass lines and some of finest jazz bass solos I’ve heard in some time. The pianists are all top notch as well, including some long time Caron associates (Otmaro Ruiz, Lorraine Desmarais, Francois Bourassa, Oliver Jones & Jean St-Jacques on Vibes). If you’d like a fresh take on Alain Caron, or simply enjoy lovely playing (and the pure sound from acoustic instruments) this is a wonderful disc. Truly wonderful playing.

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