Michel Morissette is a harmonic beast and easily the best guitarist you may have never heard of!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
I left the position of contributing to a variety of publications with a desire to go on my own musical journey. Good critics need to take what they like and what they know and move past that as there are thousands of independent artists including those working for small labels that need a voice, I wanted to be that voice. Stumbling into Quebec guitarist Michel Morissette my quest had been answered once again. Morissette's latest Nothing Toulouse is one of those rare releases that can touch your heart and set your hair on fire all at the same time! Sounds like? Artistic comparisons are seemingly fraught with peril but in this particular case they can give you a baseline from which to consider their artistry. Imagine Mike Stern and Danny Gatton got into a bar fight on the way to a Steve Morse show and you would at the very least be in the ball park.
The sound may not necessarily be new but the execution is flawless. The voicing may lead more towards the rock end of the spectrum but it is the innate ability of improvisational passion that pushes Morissette into a special category, an edgy swing with a blues you can use! Organic passion on a shiny silver disc personified by such gems as "Blues For My Baby" and the touching "Ballad For My Soul." The closer "Awareness" is an odd metered swing with plenty of bite and an improvisational edge that you simply don't here other artists attempting. Clean angular lines yet with an emotive passion that moves Morissette into the often over used category of virtuoso.
A critic is a musical prospector or sorts as they sift through the sand and silt of the forgettable and nondescript wreckage of those that would be better off pursuing a teaching career. Michel Morissette is the real deal, Canada's best kept improvisational secret. Intense passion without pretentious overkill is a tough gig to master but Nothing Tolouse makes it look easy!
Sample on iTunes!
Tracks: Nothing Toulouse; Blues For My Baby; Impulsions; Le Chant; Do It; Sortie Ste Therese; Ballad For My Soul; Awareness