RJ LeBlanc: bass & keyboards
Erika Angell: voice (2, 7)
Elizabeth Shepherd: voice (5)
Rafael Zaldivar: piano & keyboards (5)
Jérôme Beaulieu: piano & keyboards (1-8)
Nicolas Ferron: guitar (1, 3-6, 8)
François Jalbert: guitar (2, 7)
Tommy Crane: drums (2, 7)
Louis-Vincent Hamel: drums (5, 6)
Kevin Warren: drums (1, 4, 6, 8)
Eli Miller Maboungou: percussion (5)
Bassist RJ LeBlanc has been a fixture of the Montreal jazz scene for 15 years, and is showing no signs of letting up anytime soon. In fact, he’s more active than ever, working with a wide variety of artists in a number of different styles, including the free jazz of Jean-Michel Pilc, the polished smooth jazz of Carol Welsman, and extensive work on the road with iconic Montreal rock bands like The Dears. Since 2005, LeBlanc has played on over 50 studio recordings, and has toured throughout Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. A dedicated educator, LeBlanc is currently on faculty at McGill University.
HEYDAY – LeBlanc’s 4th album as a leader – is his most ambitious project yet. The album represents a tapestry of the influences that have shaped his compositional process and improvisational style, from Nirvana to Caetano Veloso, and from Skrillex to Weather Report, with modern jazz as the underlying thread throughout.
The eight songs featured on this album are a study in contrasts: Childlike and Into the Sun are reminiscent of the 90’s rock LeBlanc was raised on, while Saturnales is an ode to Weather Report co-leader Joe Zawinul; Casa Perdida and Heyday are features for vocalist Erika Angell, who brings to these pieces a vocal quality reminiscent of the great Patti Smith; Flamme and EZ Drummer are groove-based pieces that hint at R&B and dubstep; Chanson pour Marguerite is directly inspired by the ballad artistry of Paul Simon.