Three virtuosos perform live and in the studio with the flair of a chamber trio going deviously off-course, among other attributes. Multi-hued and intensely verbose, this CD provides a hearty glimpse of the art of improvisation via wily and mood-evoking vistas that might provide an altered-state of consciousness to some. With Joelle Leandre’s sinuously engineered arco-lines, and clarinetist Francois Houle’s crying and darting lines offering a contrapuntal element, the program is firmed up by Raymond Strid’s comprehensive metrics.
They pull out the proverbial stops here. Featuring drones, gobs of timbre and rolling vistas, the musicians also engage in unsettling frameworks while tempering the flows with moments of humor and wit. They generate sharp angles amid bizarre interludes and asymetrical pulses. Strid adds a colorific element due this his cymbal and percussion based shadings, sometimes contrasted by Houle’s flotation-like choruses. Nonetheless, this outing presents a study in numerous contrasts.
On "Moment tendu," the trio engages in furious exchanges often marked with circular phrasings and mind-shattering dialogues. And in other areas, Leandre’s creaky arco-passages set the stage for capacious mini-motifs, marked by a distorted sense of time and space. There are some quiet moments as well. But at the end of the day, you’d be hard-pressed to chance upon a more invigorating set of improv-spawned works that excite the mind’s eye. Where others fail miserably, these folks succeed in rather luminous fashion!