CD Review | Scat C.A.T. (Self-produced, year)

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Scat C.A.T.
Vodova Day
Self-produced, 2022

 

If a record cover telegraphs its content, this is the one. Behind the Scat C.A.T. stage name is one Claude Arnold Thibault, a jazzer at heart.

Full marks to him for his flawless diction; you don’t miss a word. Next, he has recruited quite a team of sidemen, several being his own siblings, and a few established citizens of our community, pianists Felix Stüssi and John Sadoway, bassist Frédéric Alarie, and hornmen André Leroux and Ron Di Lauro making cameo solo appearances. Twelve jazz evergreens are heard in this hour-long album, the likes of Just Friends, Love for Sale, April in Paris, Stella by Starlight—even two Charlie Parker lines, Donna Lee and Sippin’ at Bells, sung in pure scat manner. To his credit, he leaves plenty of solos to his sidemen—the pianists in particular; he himself scats out choruses of his own, but not on all numbers. Also pleasant are the sassy arrangements that echo the styles of the 1950s and 1960s, all played with gusto. That said, the very device of scat singing is a matter of taste; you either go for it or not.

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But for all of its qualities, listening to this album is like visiting an art museum—and as the filmmaker Éric Rohmer once pointedly opined, museums are places where you can learn about things that aren’t done anymore. A perfect act for the Montreal jazz fest next summer. Wanna bet?

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

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About Author

Marc Chénard is a Montreal-based multilingual music journalist specialized in jazz and improvised music. In a career now spanning some 30 years, he has published a wide array of articles and essays, mainly in Canada, some in the United States and several in Europe (France, Belgium, Germany and Austria). He has travelled extensively to cover major festivals in cities as varied as Vancouver and Chicago, Paris and Berlin, Vienna and Copenhagen. He has been the jazz editor and a special features writer for La Scena Musicale since 2002; currently, he also contributes to Point of Departure, an American online journal devoted to creative musics. / / Marc Chénard est un journaliste multilingue de métier de Montréal spécialisé en jazz et en musiques improvisées. En plus de 30 ans de carrière, ses reportages, critiques et essais ont été publiés principalement au Canada, parfois aux États-Unis mais également dans plusieurs pays européens (France, Belgique, Allemagne, Autriche). De plus, il a été invité à couvrir plusieurs festivals étrangers de renom, tant en Amérique (Vancouver, Chicago) que Outre-Atlantique (Paris, Berlin, Vienne et Copenhangue). Depuis 2012, il agit comme rédacteur atitré de la section jazz de La Scena Musicale; en 2013, il entame une collabortion auprès de la publication américaine Point of Departure, celle-ci dédiée aux musiques créatives de notre temps.

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