Its Mainstream Jazz, not Rock, somewhere between Cool, Smooth, and Continental, with a gorgeous string ensemble and occasional brass in the back, fronted by a piano, acoustic guitar, and Chantale Thibeault, a chanteuse with an intimate style that whispers to you of that love affair you once had, in Paris or Montréal, that could have gone better except for, well, changes, and that still, who knows, might gently come to life again.
The tunes, by familiar names, like Michel Legrand, Robert Charlebois, François Dompierre, Ewan McColl and Joni Mitchell are uniformly mellow and slow. The lush arrangements, by pianist and trombonist Anthony Rozankovic, and occasionally Benoit Groulx, are beautifully layered, often making inspired use of accordion and strings in the higher registers, and of cello and bass in the lower.
The blend of Canadas two solitudes, with their French and American musical roots, of jazz and so-called classical elements, are recognizably Analekta, and part of a Fusion trend that ignores the boxes and just listens to the music. This disc is one you could comfortably keep in the background while you dine or work, but if you paused to listen, you would find your attention rewarded. And if you were in the mood to dance real slow for an hour, you need look no further than Montréal Jazz Club.