Friday, December 22, 2017

Francois Carrier and Michel Lambert - Out of Silence (FMR Records, 2017)

Alto saxophonist and Chinese oboe player Francois Carrier and drummer Michel Lambert make for a powerful duo on this album, playing riveting free jazz that is improvised in real time in London during June of 2015. They have played together in many different configurations and develop a shared musical consciousnesses that allows them to transcend any boundaries that form and function attempt to apply to them. Using a blend of modern jazz and free improvisation, the group is able to create space for spontaneous and soaring interactive playing. The opening track "Out of Silence" is aptly named, as the flag drops and they are off and running, with Carrier developing a tart and acidic tone on his saxophone and Lambert's crashing and rolling percussion making for a combination that is really arresting and exciting. They approach a "Chasin' the Trane" level of intensity by moving dynamically through a number of textures and tempos and they keep the music continuously interesting, performing exploratory jazz that continuously evolves as it proceeds, building layer upon layer of rhythm upon one another in a very exciting fashion. There are quick flutters of sounds and beats on "A Thousand Birds" as the musicians use rapid fire bursts of sound that flow together and begin to tumble with unstoppable momentum. "Soul Play" allows the duo to stretch out at length again, with an eleven minute improvisation that develops an almost giddy sense of excitement, as the two instruments are bounding around and engaging with one another, twisting and turning in ways that are always unexpected and very impressive. "Happy to You" ends the album on an upbeat and progressive note, with Carrier adding accents of the exotic sounding Chinese oboe to frame their improvisation by adding a further injection of texture and color. This was a and excellent album of free modern jazz, which should pique the interest of not only to for free improvisation fans, but modern jazz fans in general. The contrast between the saxophonist’s supple and muscular playing and the clambering drums makes for an bracing performance. They travel beyond strict musical boundaries creating settings of their own that are challenging yet accessible. Out of Silence -

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