Claude Lamothe

Nu

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Montreal cellist Claude Lamothe came from the world of contemporary classical music and moved to film music and jazz-rock. This solo album catches him in transition. It remains his biggest success; it even allowed him to break into the mainstream, at least for a short while. Everything on the album is cello, usually overdubbed many times. "Cavale" and "Déraillement" are highly cinematic pieces that owe a lot to André Duchesne's interest in trains (Lamothe worked on Duchesne's orchestral extravaganza L' ou 'L). "Déraillement" was first used in Charles Binamé's motion picture Eldorado and represents the peak of Lamothe's career (both from a popular and artistic standpoint). "Où Est Bach?" (Where Is Bach?) sees the cellist weaving a couple of well-known themes around his fingers. "Libre Faune" uses a variety of percussive and bowing effects to imitate animal calls. In "D'Ouest en Est," Lamothe again uses extended techniques. This piece, along with "Cavale" and "Déraillement," is the most avant-garde of the disc -- no surprise it was written for a performance by the dance company Carbone 14. "Pionniers" and "Folk You" hint at Quebec folk music, but the latter already indicates the path his jazz-rock trio would explore. Nu (Naked) is a short and uneven album. Lamothe shows how inventive he can be, both as an interpreter and a producer (some overdubbing tricks are spectacular), but his writing tells the story of a man searching for his next move and failing to find one.

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