Here is an album that will primarily appeal to guitar enthusiasts, as this guitarist will certainly interest anyone who is even remotely interested in this instrument due to her technique. It’s a pleasant album to listen to, featuring compositions by various composers such as Victor Young, Joe Henderson, Quincy Jones, Randy Napoleon. However, the only composition that truly captivates me on this album is unfortunately the sole and unique track composed by Jocelyn Gould, which happens to be the first track on the album, “Trail Blazer.” The rest of the album, in my opinion, is too classical in style with arrangements of a similar nature, failing to pique my interest. Clearly, these arrangements are designed to showcase the guitar, and from my perspective, it would have been wiser for Jocelyn Gould to offer only her own compositions.
Beyond the first track, unless you’re a guitar fan, you may find yourself succumbing to a sense of boredom. Indeed, there is a significant gap between the particularly promising first track and the rest of the album. It’s worth noting that we are forewarned from the start: “Swing, blues, and bebop are the essential musical values of Jocelyn Gould’s album Sonic Bouquet. With this recording, the JUNO award-winning guitarist continues the success of her first two albums by capturing the spirit and spontaneity of a live club performance in a studio recording”. So, if we go by this premise, why not? Randy Napoleon’s compositions somewhat redeem the overall atmosphere of this album because the musicians in this group are indeed excellent. What’s lacking, however, is content homogeneity. In its current state, this album features outstanding artists but has relatively low overall appeal.
The reviews from Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-move both give this album three stars. We recommend it only to guitar enthusiasts. Others, like us, will wait for Jocelyn Gould’s next album, hoping that she will showcase more of her own compositions.
PARIS-MOVE, September 28th 2023