Gabriel Genest – As It Is

Gabriel Genest – As It Is

April 21, 2024

Gabriel Genest – Saxophone
Jeanne Laforest – Voice (4, 5, 8, 9)
Jean-Nicolas Trottier – Trombone (6, 7)
Olivier Salazar – Vibraphone (3)
Yannick Anctil – Piano
Alex Le Blanc – Bass
Guillaume Pilote – Drums

As It Is is Montreal saxophonist Gabriel Genest’s second album as a leader. A follow up to his debut album Triptyque (winner of the Prix François-Marcaurelle from the 2021 OFF Festival de Jazz de Montréal), As It Is is a compelling new album with a resolutely modern aesthetic marked by complex rhythms, modal harmony, and sophisticated melodies. These eight new compositions draw just as much influence from classical impressionist music as they do from the American and European jazz traditions.

With this album, Genest wanted to bring together two worlds that are dear to him: jazz improvisation and mindfulness meditation, which he has been practicing diligently for 10 years. “It’s a practice that’s very important to me and feeds my creative process,” explains the saxophonist. The pieces on the album explore various themes at the heart of meditation, including the quest for balance, the perception of time, interdependence and impermanence. Three tracks on this predominantly instrumental album are musical settings of Zen poems performed by singer Jeanne Laforest (Puisque les heures nous manquent, 2022).

The warm, subtle, yet powerful sound of Genest’s tenor saxophone is supported by the exceptional musicianship of three long-time accomplices: Alex Le Blanc on double bass, Guillaume Pilote on drums and Yannick Anctil on piano. This core group is joined by guests who contribute strong, original musical personalities to the album: Jeanne Laforest on vocals, Jean-Nicolas Trottier on trombone and Olivier Salazar on vibraphone.

Release Date: Friday, May 17th 2024 on ODD SOUND