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7 Jul 2017

Montreal "A Summer's Night" 1970 Canada Jazzy Psych Folk













Montreal "A Summer's Night" 1970 Canada Jazzy Psych Folk

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The very aptly titled A Summer's Night is a lost slice of turn-of-the-'70s Quebec psychedelia. After the October Crisis (October 1970), French Canadian music will take a resolutely national turn, leading to the rise of French-singing groups like Harmonium and Beau Dommage in 1973-1974 (prog rock group Morse Code will even switch from English to French around that time). However, A Summer's Night was recorded a little prior to the terrorist events that will precipitate the Quebec sovereignty movement. As a result, the music is lighthearted and the lyrics sung in English -- the title track is the only song with French lyrics, and these are sung with a fake English accent! The lush voice of singer Fran Losier was Montreal's main asset. Comfortable in folk ("Circles and Line"), acid folk ("Infinity"), and jazz settings ("Summertime," "Third Floor Walkup"), she comes off as a surprisingly strong performer with good singing technique to boot (a rarity when dealing with...psychedelic-era rarities). Guitarist Jean Cousineau and pianist/bassist Gilles Losier round up the core of the band, which has a very pleasant kind of camaraderie going on ("A Summer's Night," "Sometimes in Stillness"). Recorded in 1970, the album was produced by Richie Havens, who also contributes sitar on the eight-minute acid-laced closer "Infinity." Definitely strong enough for the mainstream, this debut and sole album by Montreal should have been a hit. History decided otherwise. A very nice album, particularly for "What About the Wind?," "A Summer's Night," and "Infinity."........by François Couture ...................
“Indicative of the fine working ability of Canada’s enthusiastic musicians is MONTREAL – the makers of the music you are about to hear.

Canadian musicians and performers have always been true to the gaiety of a Canadian summer and have the ability to use the long winter as a working tool. In our efforts to know a new kind of music and determine its influence upon the times and ourselves, we have yet to spend time really listening. This is listening music. Since man first began making sounds, there has been music to move the feet and music to move the mind. The music produced by these fine artists of today merge free-feeling music with words of importance. Although the nature of our situation will allow us to dance, these are still words to be heard.

Jean Cousineau’s guitar will never cease to intrigue your imagination. Gilles Losier’s piano and bass act as an organic rubber band, while his knowledge of sound will create other instruments from the one he is playing. Fran’s voice will bring the sun in the mornings and set it many an evening in your home or pad or camp-out. Montreal is a place for all ages, and so is MONTREAL’s music. A necessary experience”
by Richie Havens

Produced by Richie Havens (who also contributes sitar), this lost classic was recorded in New York in 1970. Featuring Canadian musicians Fran Losier, Gilles Losier and Jean Cousineau, as well as leading jazz flautist Jeremy Steig, psych-folk legend Buzz Linhart and the Carolyn Hester Coalition’s Skeeter Camera, it’s a mesmerising collection of jazzy folk-psych. Packed with glorious vocal harmonies and unforgettable melodies (culminating in the spellbinding acid folk masterpiece ‘Infinity’).................

The reason this album exists traces back to Richie Havens, the man who single handedly opened Woodstock. He got the Canadian trio of vocalist Fran Losier, guitarist Jean Cousteau, and Gilles Losier on piano and bass into his New York studio with some well-known psych-folk locals, produced their lone record, and released it through his own Stormy Forest label. Havens even contributes a little sitar here and there, but A Summer’s Night doesn’t sound like Richie’s solo albums. Instead of intense acoustic strumming and gruff vocals, the emphasis here is more on head nodding Arlo Guthrie-like folk arrangements and a little lounge jazz. The cover of Gershwin’s “Summertime” even breaks out the old brushes on the drum kit. It’s a very subtle album, one whose depth is not fully revealed ‘til after several listenings. The mood throughout is quite subdued, with Fran’s Nico-ish, occasionally slightly masculine vocals leading the way. “Infinity” is the record’s opus, running its eight minutes through passages sparse and dense, reversed and reverberated, lyrical and emotional. All the pieces come together in that classy raga. However, patience was never a virtue of the American buying public and, in its time, the album sold poorly, contributing the eventual dissolution of Stormy Forest a few years later. Don’t let history repeat itself. Fairport Convention fans should find this in their collections immediately....by Alan Ranta..............

Here's one of those forgotten one-album wonders that lives up to its praise & then some, with each song seeming to flow naturally into the next. It's definitely in the psych-folk category, if you need to label it -- but there's just as much jazz to be found here as well. The psych touches are restrained & tasteful, not dominating the songs, just subtly enhancing them. For example, the sitar is applied like a dusting of spice here & there, adding to the flavor of the music without overwhelming it. And the vocals are warm & lovely. Overall, it's a gentle, mellow vibe that never becomes too lethargic or bland. These are musicians who know what they're doing every step of the way. The production by Richie Havens suits the songs, which evoke the summer night of the title beautifully. I wish they'd recorded more than this ... but at least we have this album, released at last. Most highly recommended!............ByTim Lukeman...............

When I see that Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are selling millions of cds that contain forgettable songs (if you even want to call those songs), it brings a tear to my eye that albums like this go unnoticed. I can say with confidence that the reason is not because this album is inferior in terms of music. I can only summise that this proves that you don't need to possess much musical talent to make money in today's music industry in North America. No way could Gaga/Bieber come close to writing the kinds of compositions contained within this album. It would be too challenging for them and they would not be able to do it. Take a trip back to 1970 when music was music and done for the love of it rather than for the money and and the US corporate music industry backing who spends money trying to brainwash the public into thinking the only thing to buy is Gaga and Bieber and the other American singers that they are trying to promote in order to turn a fast buck.

the music contained within this particular cd was done by several talented Canadian musicians who wanted to write music. 9 soft rock/jazz/psychadelic/acid-folk songs that provide for a pleasant listening experience as well as a time travel back into the pre-Gaga/Bieber days when music was music and worth listening to.

Actually, there's still really good rock/psychadelice music being made today over in Italy/Germany/France/Hungary/Sweden today. The American Music industry won't tell you about it. Rather, they'll limit your options to Gaga/Bieber and American Idol finalists and such. They'll also hand out awards to them on their music awards show in hopes of making others think that's all that's out there. Hint Hint: look across the ocean to europe. They're actually doing music over there.

Back in 1970, they were actually doing music here too.

If you're a fan of the acid-folk/jazz genre of the late 60's/early 70's, you'll find plenty in this album to keep you happy.

Listening to this album makes me wish I was back in 1970 when I could go into a record store in the USA and actually see music rather than the Gaga/Bieber/death metal/violent-rap stuff they inflict on the consumer these days.....ByHawke and Dove...............

Montreal’s A Summer’s Night is a first rate jazz psych-folk hybrid produced by Richie Havens circa 1970 in New York City. The record features Haven on sitar, flautist Jeremy Steig, Buzz Linhart, Skeeter Camera and Canadian musicians Fran and Gilles Losier, and Jean Cousineau.

The record is an enjoyable listen from start to finish, with the exception of an yet another unnecessary version of Gershwin’s Summertime. Standout tracks include Cousineau’s title track and MIke Leibson’s "Circles and Lines".

Jean Cousineau’s guitar work and Gilles Losier’s electric piano playing are both extraordinary - at times very much in a fiery jazz vein that really shows off their ‘chops’. Vocalist Fran Losier has a very appealing, relaxed voice that makes the record a delightfully mellow affair.

A Summer’s Night is another excellent release from the very reliable reissue label Fallout. Well worth checking out if you like thidea of a little jazz mixed into your typical lost psych-folk masterpiece.........by....Gordon B. Isnor.............

This project led by canadian musicians Fran & Gilles Losier, Jean Cousineau was recorded in New York with the help of the four top US musicians Jeremy Steig, Buzz Linhart, Skeeter Camera and Richie Havens. The result is a beautiful folk album with occasional jazz and psych influences. Check the soundclip for one of the freshest versions of "Summertime" and the dark "Infinity" that reminds me of Oriental Sunshine..................

Montreal
*Fran Losier - Vocals
*Jean Cousineau - Guitar
*Gilles Losier - Piano, Bass
Guest Musicians
*Richie Havens - Sitar, Koto
*Jeremy Steig - Flute
*Buzz Linhart - Vibes
*Skeeter Camera - Percussion

Tracks
1. What About the Wind? (Chris Rawlings) - 2:28
2. A Summer’s Night (Jean Cousineau) - 3:37
3. Circles and Lines (Mike Leibson) - 2:45
4. Sometimes in Stillness (Peter Page, Bill Horan) - 3:00
5. Third Floor Walk-Up (Peter Page, Bill Horan) - 5:30
6. Every Passing Moment (Kenny Rankin) - 2:59
7. Summertime (George Gershwin, DuBose Hayward) - 4:11
8. Round and Round (Fran Losier) - 3:05
9. Infinity (Peter Page, Bill Horan) - 7:58

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..