Vent Fou

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The Jorane tornado unexpectedly hit Quebec in Fall 1999. The young singer/cellist took everyone by surprise with her first album, Vent Fou (Crazy Wind). This CD presented 13 songs of unbridled passion and experimentation that brought Tori Amos immediately to mind. The cellist is surrounded by her very capable trio (guitarist Alexandre Dumas, bassist Jean-François Lemieux, and drummer Alexis Martin) augmented by one of the most creative minds of the late-'90s Montreal music scene: guitarist Bernard Falaise (Marie-Jo Thério, Miriodor, Papa Boa), who produced the album, supplied arrangements and played various instruments. Jorane sings in French (seven tracks), in English (two tracks), and without words. The music is driven by her cello, which she approaches more lyrically than rock cellist Claude Lamothe. But she can rock, too, as featured on the short and condensed "Vent Fou," a crazy number. Most of the time, though, the music is reminiscent of Amos' Under the Pink, her voice emotional on the verge of breaking down, the pace of each song going from intimate to exuberant, from exhausted to exhilarating. "Monsieur Piment" (Mr. Pimento) is a disturbing instrumental with alien sonorities, sobbing at the end, and an overall aggressiveness one can easily relate to Falaise's work with Papa Boa. "Sous-Marin Marion" (Marion Submarine) hinted at what her second album, 16mm, would be. "Machaut" is actually three and a half minutes long but includes a hidden instrumental track. Vent Fou was welcomed with critical acclaim and immediate cult following in Canada and Europe.

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