The superior recording quality, tinged with reverb and a capacious aesthetic, serves as a third instrument on this studio recording by French pianist Benoit Delbecq and Canadian clarinetist Francois Houle. Both artists occupy that progressive, cutting-edge space within modern jazz contexts. With their third duo outing, the musicians use extended techniques in an intimate setting. Here, unorthodox treatments coalesce with sublime dialogues, spiking breakouts and melodic intervals, all executed with a sense of intimacy.
Ethereal, and at times economical in scope, the duo exercises rhythmic tapping maneuvers and other extraneous sounds often centered on fragile underpinnings. Delbecq's "Ando," depicts a prominent example of the artists' innovative tendencies. It recalls abstract world music interspersed with lush and quaintly stated melodies, as Delbecq plucks the piano strings in a cyclical manner where the illusion of an additional percussion instrument comes to fruition. However, these largely introspective dialogues feature Houle's whirling notes and Delbecq's understated block chords that conjure dreamlike effects, often propelled by unusual digressions and intervallic leaps.
Aided by whispery sub-themes, the musicians seemingly interrogate each other's souls during the variable processes. The overall program differs from the customary or boilerplate-like jazz duo undertaking, with the instrumentalists imparting an idiosyncratic stylization with enigmatic nuances, to complement a rather sanctified rite of passage.
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand
Why do I love jazz? Well, depending on what you mean by jazz, I can send an answer in any number of directions. Briefly, I was exposed to this crazy music as a little boy, my dad good friends with the local music store, where he bought sheet music to play from his baby grand. Their massive record collection, my parents taking me to concerts and clubs (only one of five kids to do so), the Magnavox furniture stereo/radio ... it all added up. It was complex, emotional music. And it had rhythm! I drummed and followed the music through the '60s even as I enjoyed the new musics of my generation.
Along with side-trips to other musicians and music, it's been one hell of a pony ride ever since.