André Duchesne

Polaroïde

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AllMusic Review by

Guitarist André Duchesne's follow-up to the disappointing Réflexions is much more rewarding. He continues to prefer the classical guitar over the electric with which he recorded his best albums in the late '80s/early '90s. But this time, instead of wrapping himself up with it in slightly self-indulgent solos, he opens up to the trio format with great results. Drummer Pierre Tanguay transforms as usual into the perfect mate, but Jean René literally steals the record. A viola player, René has always been relegated to secondary roles. An incredible musician, he finally gets a little more room to stretch and he jumps on the occasion to prove his worth. He comes through as Montreal's answer to Mat Maneri, playing with a languor enhanced by his use of microtonalities. Some of these pieces are obviously written, at least in part, and although the format of choice is free improvisation, Duchesne couldn't rub off all of his rock influences ("Négociations" sounds at times like an acoustic Locomotive). The guitarist handles his guitar in ways similar to René Lussier and Eugene Chadbourne, dropping strings of notes here and jagged chords there. Polaroïde will not bring you to your knees, but it makes a solid album of demanding free-form music, plus it reveals an exquisite violist.

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