REVIEW, Exclaim Magazine by Glen Hall - May 05, 2005
The music of LaConnor is a telling example of the individualism that is appearing more and more in Canadian improvised music. Clarinetist François Houle, violinist Jesse Zubot and drummer Jean Martin all contribute pieces to this 14-cut self-recorded, self-produced CD. But they also edit and mix their own stuff, too, giving the tunes wildly divergent identities, which adds to the overall playfulness, diversity, and a much neglected quality in some oh-so-serious improv circles.
Martin's gentle lullaby dreamscapes are warm-hearted and engaging, imbued with a child-like naiveté that gives them a comforting, security blanket feel. The contrast between these tunes and Houle's spiky free jazz clarinet lines and Zubot's India-inflected lyricism makes for a fun listen. LaConnor keeps listeners from being lulled into inattention by bold shifts in mood, tempo, intensity and sound ambiance, and production resources that include Houle's laptop and Zubot's processing effects. That all three players take a hand in the post-recording world of mixing makes this self-produced recording compelling evidence for evolution and growth of independent improvised music. LaConnor, in their tunes and their production styles, prove that this music need not follow well-trod paths to capture listeners' imaginations and emotions.
Jean Martin drums, glockenspeil, turntables, loops, voice, metal plates, theremin
Francois Houle clarinet, electronics & sounds
Jesse Zubot Violin, electronics & sounds
Produced By Laconnor. Jesse and Francois stuff recorded in Vancouver. Jean stuff recorded & mixed in Toronto at The Farm, 2004. Mastered by David Travers-Smith. Cover Art - J. Eaton
REVIEW - Downbeat Magazine (US) by Greg Buium, June 2005
The key to LaConnor—a cooperative trio with Zubot, clarinetist François Houle and drummer Jean Martin—lies scattered about: natural disasters, film projectors, front-end loaders, kids and clocks. It opens, as any ambient disc from the Pacific Northwest might, with layers of rain.