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Review: Blue Spirits, Liquid Courage 

Clear and taut

click to enlarge blue_spirits_720.jpg

Liquid Courage is the debut recording from Blue Spirits, the Halifax quartet led by trumpeter Paul St-Amand and self-described (accurately) as “a colourful collision of classic and contemporary.” It starts strong just on the titles of the first two songs, “Magnifico” and “How to Be Unthoughtful” (and what’s the over/under on “One Page to Another” being a Sloan hat-tip?). Recorded at the New Scotland Yard and actively aiming for a Chet Baker vibe, Liquid Courage is clear and taut, when it’s not gleefully cacophonous. This is a quartet with a sense of humour, which is nice. St-Amand sings on the jaunty final track, “There I Go Again,” wondering “Am I a born romantic, just in denial?” and lamenting, “I’ve never learned my lesson, and it’s too late to try. Save your interventions and good intentions for some other guy.” See you on Jazz Fest Tinder, Paul! Don’t miss Blue Spirits at Jazz Fest Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 1pm on the Hydrostone Market stage.

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