Before our readers stomp all over me and accuse me of nepotism, I would like to clarify that Tom Bourcier is not closely related to me. However, we share a common ancestor back in the middle of the 17th century. I must honestly admit that I was quite thrilled to see the family surname on a new jazz CD. The instrumental makeup of this trio is unusual in the jazz idiom. Tom describes the trio as playing a gumbo of gypsy jazz, blues and bluegrass sounds.
The CD’s opener is titled Walking With Amanda Lynn and is certainly what I would term "contemporary jazz." Other tunes are more difficult to place in neat little boxes. There is a definite "blues feeling" to "The Islanders", "Gdaanigen", and "Hee Haw Hoedown." "Mr. Natural" is pure funk and quite a delight. The ten tune session was recorded in Saint Andrew’s Church, Beulah, Michigan on August 9,2000. The closer is a romping version of Sweet Georgia Brown and judging from the applause, the audience was on its feet.
The trio departs momentarily from jazz to render Don Julin’s waltz, "White Hair and Wisdom" and the descriptive "Nightbirds." Their rendition of Bill Monroe’s "Evening Prayer Blues" is certainly not typical of Monroe’s Bluegrass attack.
Tom Bourcier is a fine accordionist and apparently also excels on piano. The trio enjoyed a tour of the Tuscany region of Italy last summer and appeared in a number of jazz clubs.
Don Julin has to be one of very few players of the jazz mandolin and is completely devoted to his chosen instrument. He is certainly in the same class as his contemporaries, Ken Whitely and Don Stiernberg. Acoustic bassist, Glenn Wolf adds his impeccable artistry to complete this most unusual trio. The group resides in the general area of Decorah, Iowa.
Have a peek at their web site or visit Amazon for sound clips.