Canadian Jazz Vocalist/Pianist Anne Bisson returns with her sophomore album, “Portraits & Perfumes”. Featuring covers from legendary artists such as Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Carole King amongst others, along with two new musical gems written by Anne, this album is an Audiophile Must Have!
“Canada’s Oracle Audio had a room that contained the Vienna Acoustics Klimt The Kiss speakers along with every product they make. The highlight, though, was seeing singer Anne Bisson there and hearing her new release, Portraits & Perfumes, on LP and CD, using Oracle’s CD player and turntable, of course.” – www.soundstageglobal.com
Anne’s debut album, 2009’s Blue Mind, is a fantastic audiophile recording featuring a rich and warm midrange, with sultry tones that envelop and embrace, with melodies that soar with a delicate confidence through changes that are a unique blend of jazz and vocal pop. 2011’s “Portraits & Perfumes” is an opus of jazz standards featuring expansive, original arrangements and covers, including a brilliant cover of “Us and Them” by Pink Floyd, stunning rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends” by The Beatles, a calming transcription of “Call Me/You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King, alluringly sweet adaptation of “The Nearness Of You” by Hoagy Carmichael, and many, many more!
Bisson is joined again by some of the best jazz musicians in Quebec and by Legendary producer, conductor, and arranger Guy St-Onge. Recorded at St-Onge’s Reference Studio in St-Calixte, Quebec, Canada.
Sennheiser MKH40 microphones
Raindirk Symphony mixer
Dynaudio monitoring system
Moon power amplifiers
Weiss 102 series mastering console
Boreal Acoustik custom monitoring speakers
Anne Bisson, vocals, piano
Guy St-Onge, double bass, drums, percussion, vibraphone, accordian, organ, chimes, guitar, synthesizer, piano, tambourine
Andre Leroux, flute, clarinet, tenor sax
Normand Guilbeault, double bass
Paul Brochu, drums
Ron Di Lauro, trumpet
Phillippe Dunnigan, Chantal Bergeron, violin
Ligia Paquin, alto
Carla Antoun, cello
ANNE BISSON AT TORONTO’S ANGIE’S AUDIO CORNER
Robert Deutsch, Stereophile magazine
There’s been a lot of concern expressed about the difficulties experienced by bricks-and-mortar audio retailers, and I guess these concerns are well founded, but some retailers continue to not only survive but thrive.
One such retailer is American Sound of Canada, located in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill. Owned and managed by Angie Lisi (known to all her customers as just “Angie”), American Sound was founded in 1970, and has recently opened a second location a few miles up the road, called Angie’s Audio Corner, specializing in their higher-end lines. Angie’s very capable assistants, Leyland and Arnold, now look after the Richmond Hill store, and Angie’s Audio Corner is Angie’s baby. Converted from an old residential property, Angie’s Audio Corner has a more sophisticated upscale boutique vibe than the Richmond Hill store, but, with Angie in charge, the atmosphere is still welcoming rather than stuffy.
Angie’s Audio Corner had an event on February 28 to introduce some of their new lines, including Joseph Audio speakers, the latest Meridian Sooloos music server, Brinkmann turntables, and Zesto Audio line stage and phono stage. Jeff Joseph was on hand, giving a talk on his approach to speaker design, and there were representatives present for the other lines. Best of all, there was live music: jazz pianist/vocalist Anne Bisson, who has performed at various audio shows. In the heading photo, Angie is holding on to the equipment rack housing the Brinkmann turntable, providing it with additional support.
I’ve encountered Anne Bisson at the Montreal Salon Son & Image show and at T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas, but this was the first time I had a chance to listen to her playing/singing for any length of time. I have a theory that playing the piano and singing are, to a large extent, incompatible activities: you can do one of them well and be passable in the other, but very few people are equally good at playing the piano and singing. Anne Bisson belongs to this select group: she’s a pianist who plays with great panache, and she sounds like a real singer, not a just a pianist-who-can-carry-a-tune.
Anne Bisson’s performance at Angie’s Corner was much appreciated by an audience that included fellow audio scribes Andrew Marshall (http://www.audio-ideas.com/), front left, and Suave Kajko (http://canadahifi.com/, http://taveshow.com/), front right.
For the original article, click here.
Christopher Rodriguez, Journal de Montréal, July 30th, 2011
We may have missed her at the last Montreal Jazz Festival, but it’s never too late to get to discover Anne Bisson. For her second album, this pianist, songwriter and singer brilliantly takes up the challenge with a rich and, it must be mentioned, clever selection of well-known songs, deeply personal compositions and Pop standards that have withstood the test of time. Never straying far from the Jazz idiom, which might possibly be the secret to her success, she starts off by offering us a nearly a cappella version of Pink Floyd’s Us and Them. She then revisits Spinning Wheels, With a Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles), In the Wee Small Hours, with its superb trumpet solo from Ron Di Lauro, and other selections. On the whole, Portraits and Perfumes, produced by keyboardist Guy St-Onge, is a bright new album that one can listen to from morning till night. Bravo!
ANNE BISSON’S PORTRAITS AND PERFUMES
Olivier Robillard Laveaux, Voir, June 23, 2011
We certainly didn’t expect to hear anything this audacious when we took Portraits and Perfumes, the third album from singer, pianist and television host Anne Bisson out of its jewel case. But that’s exactly the impression we got when we heard her cover version of Pink Floyd’s Us and Them. It has a very theatrical quality to it, mainly due toAndré Leroux‘s inspired flute playing. As we kept listening, the songs took on a more traditional jazz feel, the album consisting of both covers and new compositions. The magic does return on occasion, notably with With a Little Help From My Friends, rearranged by producer Guy St-Onge who can’t resist quoting from The Beatles’ repertoire. We would have hoped, however, that this same sense of playfulness had permeated the whole album.
PORTRAITS AND PERFUMES
L’Émission du Matin, Canal V, Montreal
We’ve seen her as Cristal in ‘Starmania’, the Rock Opera, so she’s one of the greats in Quebec music… she’s got an inexhaustible supply of talent. It’s really very good, there’s some very good listening!…
ANNE BISSON, PORTRAITS AND PERFUMES (DEP/UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA)
Roxane Tremblay, Journal Le Courrier, July 5th, 2011
The latest edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival may be over now, but nothing should prevent you from making the good times last by listening to this surprising album by Anne Bisson. Not only does it reprise several great Jazz standards, but it also serves up Pink Floyd’s ‘Us and Them’ and The Beatles’ ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’! Well-supported by Guy St-Onge’s arrangements and production, as well as the presence of several renowned musicians, she has at her command a voice that is both buoyant and theatrical. A wonderful blend of atmosphere and color, Portraits and Perfumes is a pure delight to the ear.