Whilst the term “less is more” does not really describe the exchanges between saxophonist Rémi Bolduc and pianist Taurey Butler which shine with radiant apparel, there is an unmatched nimbleness of sound. This is no stripped-down performance, but a full and wholesome creation of songful dialogue between saxophone and piano almost in the grand manner of Schumann-like Lied. Only here it is Bolduc who is accompanied by ebullient arpeggios and unrestrained glissandi from the fingers of Butler.
It is easy to fall prey to the charms of this music. Song after song on Swingin’ with Oscar combines a craftsman-like approach to Oscar Peterson’s ingenious writing and inspired improvisations. Bolduc, Butler, Chantal de Villiers, Fraser Hollins and Dave Laing all play inspired roles in bringing the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic genius of Peterson to life for us again. And it’s not just on Place St. Henri or Laurentide Waltz, but everywhere on this album.
The inspiration of course also comes from the memorable repertoire that seems to have been musical manna, fallen from the sky. Vitality and brilliance in each re-invention shine forth with the strongest and most appealing combination of colours. Dynamic range and balance between the instruments are achieved by each artist who, remarkably, never seems to tread on the other’s turf. Rhythm is strongly marked, emphasizing thematic gestures, the subtlety of which makes for an utterly breathtaking experience.