Francois Carrier / Alexey Lapin / Michel Lambert: Inner Spire (2011)
Lapin has already demonstrated on several Leo releasesnotably his own solo piano album Parallels (Leo, 2011)that he is a fluent inventive player capable of great delicacy. The pairing of Lapin with Carrier and Lambert is an inspired one that works well. The threesome strikes a good balance between saxophone and piano. For much of the time the two play simultaneously, complementing each other to good effect; occasionally one of the two will drop out, allowing the other time in the limelight. Throughout, Lambert supports and drives things along, maintaining an impressive momentum.
Carrier's playing indicates he is an improvising jazz player more than an improv player, unsurprising given his professed love of the jazz tradition and his habit of playing along with his heroes' discs. He favors swooping runs and is not shy of using repetition of phrases to add emphasis and build excitement, amply demonstrated by his storming solo feature at the end of "Square Away." His love of the music is as tangible and infectious on disc as it is in person.
This is an impressive debut from a fine trio. Let us hope a sequel follows soon.
Track Listing: Inner Spire; Square Away; Tribe; Round Trip; Sacred Flow.
Personnel: François Carrier: alto saxophone; Alexey Lapin: piano; Michel Lambert: drums.
Record Label: Leo Records
Style: Modern Jazz