Jazz drummer, composer and vibist Patrick Simard recorded this CD in 2009 while still in high school, but waiting to attend the Berklee College of Music as a scholarship student. From Ottawa, Ontario, the disc contains seven pleasant original compositions either composed by Simard himself or in conjunction with his bandmates. They all fall within the traditional bounds of jazz combo compositional style. Overall the compositions range from light swing, "Don’t Lose It," to ballads, "4:10," to up-tempo, "Insight."
Accompanying Simard is tenor saxophonist Jean-Pierre Simard, pianist Yves LaRoche and bassist Philippe Charbonneau. Of the three, LaRoche makes the strongest statements. His understated style, mostly without the use of any altered chords or inserted extra harmonic motion, keeps the proceedings moving forward in a straight manner. As soloist he plays nice lines that rely on understatement. Bassist Charbonneau is functional as a bassist, and Jean-Pierre Simard is a practical saxophonist.Patrick Simard has a nice feel for the drums and even though he is self-taught as a vibist he still plays with an easy command of the instrument. His best performance on the vibes is on "Je m’envole," a solo vibraphone workout where Simard demonstrates some impressive technique.
This recording documents a young musician who, as a big fish in a small pond, has achieved a degree of ability and insight into the jazz art one would hope all incoming college freshmen would have before they begin their collegiate studies. It will be worthwhile to hear his playing after his collegiate training is completed.