The Queen Mab Trio is clarinetist Lori Freedman (Montreal), pianist Marilyn Lerner (Toronto) and violist Ig Henneman (Amsterdam). They have been creating and performing for almost five years now making concert tours across Canada, the USA and Europe.
The concert programme 'Thin Air' contained works loosely based on the Queen Mab Scherzo from Hector Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet. Anyone who has ever heard the trio play will understand that these musicians feel completely at home in the world of Berlioz, the composer who so eagerly embraced Shakespeare's reckless use of genres and form.
Portland, May 13 2005
(...) a magnificent improvising chamber trio of the highest order. Utilizing ideas and energies from a wide array of musical disciplines they presented an exciting program which was very original and accomplished.
Brad Winter Cadence July 2005
Seattle, May 14 2005
) One of the beauties of this band is that it combines qualities stereotypically associated with women - cooperation, deference and blending in - with ones assigned to men - aggression, structural rigor and a lack of sentimentality. It's an unbeatable combination.
Paul de Barros Seattle Times May 2005
Montreal Festival International de Jazz, July 4 2005
(...) Other festival highlights included Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava's radiant Quintet, Zakir Hussain's stunning duets with guitarist John McLaughlin, Randy Weston's trio, and the exquisitely edgy Queen Mab Trio.
Larry Appelbaum Jazznin Japan
20th Vancouver International Jazz Festival, June 24 2005
) This trio, with improvisation among its formalities, just sparkled, integrating the two concepts into a pliant mature exciting assemblage.
Bill Smith www.vancouverjazz.com September 14 2005
Ottawa Jazz Festival, July 1 2005
) At times intensely cerebral, elsewhere more purely visceral, Queen Mab was an interesting counterpoint to Evan Parker's waves of sound and Roscoe Mitchell's more Afro-centric quintet performance.
John Kelman All About Jazz
about the CD See Saw (Wig 11, 2005)
) Strong themes furnish platforms to launch mobile trio interplay that's both tough and supple, intricate and boldly etched. Musical temperaments coincide in compact blocks of accord and skilfully organised bouts of creative friction, and space is made for inspired flights of individual fancy. Queen Mab Trio have a well-defined identity, yet the music is continuously allusive, evoking diverse compositional styles extending from Erik Satie to Louis Andriessen, suggesting awareness too of non-European musical traditions. There's an indebtedness to free jazz energies and techniques as well as more preconceived jazz structures and conditions of virtuosity.
Julian Cowley The Wire September 2005
) Elsewhere, Lerner's output ranges from sandpaper rough, inside-string resonation to tinkling, balladic fills. Freedman's characteristically dissonant reed snorting and aviary shrills also give way to pulsating bass clarinet body tube burbling and conservatory-approved extended glissandi. Henneman, who usually includes ratcheting sweeps in her playing without upsetting the harmonic balance, can also slyly come up with timbres so atonal that they unintentionally sound like Jack Benny practicing on his $5 fiddle.
Ken Waxman UnAmericanActivities August 2005
(...) Questions of composition and improvisation aside, what defines See Saw is the level of minute interactions, the devastating passion motivating each note, and the number of ideas per minute, all key traits of Queen Mab's music.
François Couture All-Music Guide
(...) Pour évoquer ce qu'on entend là j'aimerais convoquer Gérard de Nerval dans son poème le plus célébre, parlant des "soupirs de la sainte et les cris de la fée". C'est en effet une musique de sorcières dont toute la force est dans le nerf, ménageant sans crainte de rupture des écarts dynamiques extrêmes. Une musique pulsatile, organique qui joue plus à décadrer indéfiniment l'écriture qu'à improviser, le problème du temps devenant ici tout à fait secondaire. Ce qui a lieu c'est que trois musiciennes (et on pense aussi aux trois "Diaboliques") jouent comme un seul corps qui serait pourtant morcelé (vent / cordes frottées / cordes percutées, etc
). Disons admirable.
Noel Tachet ImproJazz Mai 2005
Lori Freedman www.lorifreedman.com
Ig Henneman www.stichtingwig.com
Marilyn Lerner www.marilynlerner.com
Mab that tiny fairy so light and so wary
Long I've fear'd that Queen Mab has been with you
Queen Mab tis she who caused all this uproar