Les Fleurs de Léo

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In 1992, Michel F. Côté's project Bruire released its second album, Les Fleurs de Léo (Leo's Flowers). More dense than Le Barman A Tort de Sourire, this album is once again a collection of pieces recorded with an ever-changing array of musicians. Collaborators on this CD are mostly multi-instrumentalist Jean Derome and keyboardist/samplist Diane Labrosse, with cellist Claude Lamothe, clarinetist Robert Marcel Lepage, guitarist René Lussier, electronic percussionist Ikue Mori, trombonist Claude St-Jean, and vocalist Jerry Snell appearing on one or two tracks each. For this album, Côté abandoned the song format to turn to a composition style closer to contemporary classical, while leaving more room for improvisation. His percussion work remains the backbone of his material, but apart from that there is definitely a style emerging from Les Fleurs de Léo, something Le Barman A Tort de Sourire lacked. Highlights include the beautiful "Sphères Unies" (United Spheres), a suite derived from Erik Satie's "Sports et Divertissements," Diane Labrosse's "Eva Vasa," a deconstructed melancholic melody, the improvised suite "Pierres Précieuses," and the avant-rock album opener "À Tout Rompre." Les Fleurs de Léo goes beyond the anecdotal scenes of the previous album. Côté's true sense for artistic beauty (in all its incarnations, as the CD's lavish booklet exemplifies) comes through and hints at things to come, Bruire's next album L'Âme de l'Objet.

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