On the occasion of the release of his brand-spanking-new album Belleville, violinist Donald MacLennon and his gypsy jazz band – including Duane Andrews! – make their debut at The Carleton on Wednesday, April 6th. Show time is 8 PM and admission is $15 cash at the door.
Antigonish-based musician Donald MacLennan‘s anticipated debut solo album, Belleville, is a brilliant weave of sonic textures and arrangement rooted in the style of the formidable French guitarist Django Reinhardt. A modern Twist to the traditional gypsy jazz approach, MacLennan blends both manouche and jazz standards with original compositions, showcasing his arrangements and improvisation with a laissez-faire not often anticipated in a debut record.
Produced by MacLennan with Dan MacCormack (Grassmarket, The Modern Grass), featuring musicians Ronald Hynes (Jimmy Rankin, Paul Lamb), Matt Myer (Gypsophilia) and ECMA award-winning guitarist Duane Andrews, Belleville soars with rich soundscapes and frenetic solos led by MacLennan’s violin virtuosity. Peppered with fast-paced swing tunes like Belleville and What Is This Thikng Called Love, the record also steps lightly with the Italian inspired waltz Come Back To Sorrento, and a stunning remake of Dolly Parton’s classic, I Will Always Love You. The foot-stomping Eastern Roma inspired L’aerport is a gem in the album’s crown, while Marleau’s Dream and FIABOC share a more intimate influence of minimalist modern classical music and film score.
After a decade of working as both a studio musician and sideman (Ben Caplan & the Casual Smokers, The Modern Grass, Tee Thomason, Jennah Barry, Michael Dalton) it’s no wonder that MacLennan’s debut performance is anything short of an inspired celebration of life and sound. His take on what a gypsy jazz record should be is a refreshing reminder of what art and music can be.