Jacques Rivest was best known as Pollen's vocalist and multi-instrumentalist prior to the release of his first, self-titled solo album in 1979. The LP features Pollen band mates Claude Lemay (keyboards) and Richard Lemoyne (guitar), joined by Daniel Mathieu (bass) and Serge Courchesne (drums/horns). Some of the material is more mainstream, but the acoustic instrumentation lends itself to a folk vibe, and there are some truly progressive moments, as on the Eastern-looking "Voyage au Tibet", as well as the double-keyboard lines and singing, reminiscent of Pollen, found on other tracks. 2006 saw the re-release of Rivest's first solo album, this time on CD, by ProgQuebec. The album is now augmented by a bonus track, taken from a single released about the same time as the original album release.
…not exactly prog per se, but proggish, with a good selection of songs…
POLLEN was a Canadian four-some that released only one album of symphonic progressive in the seventies. They were from the Quebecois progressive scene and were perhaps the most-known Canadian symphonic group with HARMONIUM but their music is much purely rooted in the symphonic genre than their countrymen, whose music is more folk-oriented. The group consisted of Jacques Tom Rivest (vocals, bass, acoustic guitar, keyboards), Richard Lemoyne (electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards), Claude Lemay (keyboards, flute, bass, vibraphone, vocals) and Sylvain Coutu (drums, vibraphone).
Not half as well known as he should be, Edwards is a Delta- born jazz saxophonist who impresses for his post-bop inventiveness and his predisposition to the blues. Allowed a rare feature date, he gives lessons in how to delve into a melody for meaning and then express the resulting revelations in down-home terms-relish the poetic beauty of the title song. Tom Waits, an original, molds his vocal excesses into triumphant blues declarations in Edwards's stunning composition "I'm Not Your Fool Anymore." Indeed.
Tales of gun fights, bank heists and barrooms meet hot licks and harmonies as Tom rounds up a posse of players to interpret a dirty dozen of his Americana-inspired songs, bursting with mirth and menace.