Recorded live in 2007 at the Calgary Jazz Festival, saxophonist Francois Carrier aligns with longtime musical associate, percussionist Michel Lambert for this trio date augmented by former Steve Lacy bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel. And the results are often startling, namely from the standpoint of witnessing a group-centric union of like-minded artists who intuitively improvise upon a concurrent musical plane.
Whether performing on alto or soprano sax, Carrier dips, soars and uses his instruments as a vocalist might intonate a song. With the trio’s slightly staggered discourses, they uncannily maintain a subliminal undertow throughout. Essentially, it’s a democratic engagement, where the rhythm section provides Carrier with a prominently designed launching pad.
On the forty-minute piece titled "Core," Avenel kicks the gala off with interweaving bowed lines as Lambert rolls off the top via his tom rolls and cymbal swashes to provide an entry point for Carrier. Moving forward, the trio engages in intricate dialogues of varying intensities. In effect, the artists’ pepper and prod each other’s realm of ideas while occasionally engaging in witty exchanges. At one point, Lambert renders closed-hand cymbals shots to counter or perhaps engage in a duel with the saxophonist.
Ultimately, the trio’s continuum generates a frothy set of metrics amid the proverbial highs and lows. More importantly, the respective instrumentalists shine forth as well-schooled pros who separate the men from the boys, so to speak. They seize your attention throughout the entire program, which is a factor that alludes to encyclopedic volumes within the broad outlook of the freer side of matters.