Although released in 1999, Strand, Under the Dark Cloth was recorded and produced in 1988 for a documentary on Canadian photographer Paul Strand (1890-1976). The 38-minute soundtrack was mixed in mono, an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of Strand's black-and-white photos. It may have worked nicely in the movie theater, but on record it can't help but feel outdated and without depth. The music itself is a nice blend of classical floorings, folk dance tunes, and new jazz, but it isn't prime Jean Derome. The instrumentation is very close to what he used in Confitures de Gagaku (including jazz singer Karen Young) and the interlacing of four main themes is interesting, but separated from the medium it originally supported, Strand, Under the Dark Cloth fails to move the listener.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture