Heading into the studio for the first time, the group – comprised of Brian Coughlan on saxophone, Denis Surette and Eric Pitre on guitar, Glen Deveau on vibraphone and percussion, Marc “Chops” Arsenault on bass, Charles Goguen on drums, and special guest Joël Robichaud on piano – had the benefit of experience on their side.
For the last four years, Les Improbables have performed virtually every Friday night. They spent nearly two years at the now defunct Vie Tapas Lounge in Robinson Court before settling into their current home, Plan b. The group has earned a well-deserved reputation for the creative improvisation of their original material in addition to their interpretation of jazz classics.
Coughlan says those weekly gigs have played an immeasurable role in helping the band gel.
“I would say those weekly shows have been absolutely critical to the band’s development. The more you perform, the better you tend to get,” he says. “One of the key things about having played together so often and for so long is that you develop an intuition of where the other guys in the band are going at almost any given moment.”
Coughlan says that the inter-band chemistry ended up factoring into the making of La comtesse de Santiago rather significantly.
“When it came to recording this album, we didn’t go the traditional route of first laying down drum and bass tracks and have everyone record their parts separately on top of those. You can’t quite capture the same emotion and groove when you go about making a jazz record that way, and so, we hit the record button and all played together. We played each track twice and then selected what we felt was the best take of the two. The finished product does have some warts and bumps, but it was worth us being able to feed off each other during the recording.”
What: Les Improbables CD release for La comtesse de Santiago
When: Tuesday Mar. 24, 5 p.m.
Where: Plan b Lounge, 212 St. George St., Moncton