As the title of the CD suggests Mood Swings
explores various emotional states, from the outrageously manic to the serenely introspective. During the wild pursuit of these mood swings, accomplished bassist Richard Addison, and company, expertly maneuver within a wide variety of jazz and rock arrangements. Overall, this CD will mostly appeal to fans of progressive jazz and fusion, as opposed to jazz purists, as the rock moments often outshine the jazz moments in sheer power and creativity. However, there is some absolutely beautiful jazz provided via the title track, Mood Swings.
The CD production and quality of musicianship is outstanding. There is no gratuitous showmanship here, as all instruments are played with precision and skill, and nothing is overdone.
The CD really takes off with the high energy progressive track, Montee de Lait,
which contains a blast of nearly psychotic guitar solos and Addison's steady bass. A fine example of a mood swing on this CD is the title track Mood Swings,
which follows the frenzy of Montee de Lait.
The violin of Robin Boulianne is the perfect glue that holds this piece together, as it supplies both the emotional gravity and ethereality to the music, as does Luc Aubry's piano.
By far, the outstanding jazz piece, Controlled Freedom,
is the best composition on this CD. Central to this song is the piano expertise of Pierre Nadeau. Nadeau's recording session with Richard Addison, which was used in this composition, had taken place many years earlier, so this contribution obviously provided the impetus for the entirety of the song. I also appreciated the use of creative production techniques in the piece, such as the inclusion of barely audible spoken passages riding underneath the body of the music, and assorted samples and electronic noises which were allowed to come to the surface without overwhelming the entire composition. Excellent work.