Yannick Rieu is an accomplished saxophonist; he approaches each song with a precise clarity that is so graceful it cannot be defined as such. He slows you down with such expertise you are not even aware of it, as on "'I' Is Memory." A Montrealer of French origin, Yannick was brought up in the Gaspe and Saguenay regions.
Saxophonist Yannick Rieu was noted by Downbeat magazine in 1988 as one of the most promising new saxophonists, along with Branford Marsalis and Joe Lovano; Rieu has earned acclaim and respect with his recordings and performances in France, Canada, and the United States. He recorded In the Myth in 1992, Sweet Geom in 1994, What is the Colour of Love in 1995 which earned him the Felix award for Jazz album of the year, Little Zab in 1999 and Little Zab 11 in 2001 and has performed world wide.
"I" Is Memory is introspective and not hurried, but never lackluster, the music explores the pairings of musicians in duo and trio settings with a variety of diverse senses. Together with the vivid percussion of Christian Lagueux or well known Canadian pianist, Francois Bourassa, the music is richly anticipated.
The first track " WATP" is reminiscent of Stan Getz with a cool tempo. The haunting melody of "R.O." with light tease of saxophone dancing in the distance takes you to a different time and place. "Song H" is a subtle waltz of an introduction, with a clever off beat story and free form style. "Petit Songe Garanti" was my favorite, with dream like burst of movement, the piano catching the shift deftly, giving Yannick the freedom to explore, interlaced with the faint shadow of children’s voices. He picks up the tempo with sax/drum duo "Like Someone In Love" on the soprano sax. "I" is Memory" the CD’s namesake is a clever mix with bongos and earthy tones and textures.
A very enjoyable CD and a winner for Yannick Rieu.