Five of Montreal’s finest musicians present an exciting new album of music inspired by Jazz of the 1960’s. A combination of originals and compositions by Wayne Shorter and Hank Mobley. A hard swinging band with a straight ahead vibe and a modern sound.
Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen Sept 4th 2019
The five Montreal-based musicians on guitarist Carlos Jiménez’s recently released album Don’t Fall are exceedingly well-schooled. All have either a Master’s degree, or a bachelor’s degree, or both, from McGill University’s jazz program. Come to think of it, Jimenez and his bandmates are also, like so many jazz players these days, revered educators.
But there’s very little academic or ivory tower about the music on Don’t Fall. Granted, on Jiménez’s album there are choice tunes by Wayne Shorter (Virgo) and Hank Mobley (East of the Village) that attest to jazz erudition. Indeed, McGill, specifically some years ago when the guitarist, alto saxophonist Alexandre Côté, pianist Pierre François, bassist Dave Watts and drummer Dave Laing respectively attended, was known for enshrining bebop, hardbop and postbop on its curriculum.
Still, what shines through on Jimenez’s album is how much he and his peers have internalized the jazz tradition, making its fire, flow and swing their own.
The bulk of Don’t Fall consists of six originals by Jimenez. The album opens with Keep It Simple, a meaty, swinging tune with a piquant, yin-yang sense of harmony. Come solo time, Jimenez is poised and incisive and then Coté is swaggering and passionate. The title track charges harder and faster, swapping episodes of bracing swing and punchy funk before Jimenez, Côté and François show off the bopping eloquence they can muster at a bright tempo.
The Fifth Element is a twisty 5/4 minor blues that keeps the album’s tension high until the delicate Shorter-penned ballad releases it. Côté sits this one out, allowing Jiménez with his glowing sound and then François to step forward.
Still Ringing, Jiménez’s tribute to the late Montreal guitarist Richard Ring, is a 3/4 contrafact on This Is New, which supplies bassist Dave Watts with a wending harmonic path to negotiate before Côté torches the joint and Jimenez and François offers more burnished solos.
While Jiménez on his website describes Don’t Fall as an album “inspired by the jazz of the 1960s,” I think there’s an appealing touch of the 1990s to the theme of The Process, which admittedly pivots back to rangy swinging.
Samba New Life is the disc’s bouncy penultimate number. To close Don’t Fall, Jimenez offers a faithful rendition of saxophonist Mobley’s tune East Of The Village.
Jiménez and his quintet launch Don’t Fall on Friday, Sept. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Diese Onze in Montreal. If I could, I’d plant myself down in a seat there and brace myself for an exciting, invigorating set.
released August 20, 2019
Carlos Jiménez: guitar / guitare
Alexandre Côté: alto saxophone / saxophone alto
Pierre François: piano
Dave Watts: double bass / contrebasse
Dave Laing: drums / batterie
Produced by / Réalisé par :Carlos Jiménez
Recorded at / Enregistré au: Studio Doxas Boutique de Son (19 Dec 2018)
Sound Engineer / Ingénieur de son: George Doxas
Mixed and Mastered by / Mixage et matriçage par
Graphic Design: Benoît Deschamps
Jazz guitarist and composer, Carlos Jiménez is a very active musician on the Montreal jazz scene. He has shared the stage
with some of the most expressive names of Canadian jazz. His versatility and ability to play various styles on both electric and classical instruments has made him a first choice guitarist for various projects. Carlos currently teaches Jazz guitar at McGill University....more