As is true of countless other players, the output of French-Canadian saxophonist Francois Carrier took a nosedive after the arrival of covid-19 and lockdown. Where he had been averaging two album releases a year, Glow is his first release since Japan Suite (NoBusiness) which was released eighteen months before, in May 2020. In addition, Carrier's globe-trotting toursthe source of a steady stream of live albums (his last studio-recorded album having been Being With, released on Leo in 2010, and recorded in March and May 2009)were curtailed by the pandemic.
The release of the aptly titled Glow and the possibility that Carrier might tour in spring 2022 together constitute the light at the end of the tunnel. Of course, this album does not comprise recent recordings, but was recorded on June 5th 2019 at Soda Acustic, in Barcelona, Spain; in addition to Carrier's trusty band mate drummer Michel Lambert (the two can seem as inseparable as Batman and Robin...), he is joined by two Barcelona-based guitarists, Pablo Schvarzman and Diego Caicedo.
Across five tracks, ranging in length from four-and-a-half minutes to twelve-and-a- half, the four freely improvise together, with the two guitars supplying an unfamiliar backdrop to Carrier's alto sax, but one which fits it well and allows every note to be heard clearly. Throughout, Carrier displays the improvisatory skills which saw him elected to Downbeat readers' poll as one of their favourite alto saxophonists; the fluidity of his soloing makes it sound effortless. However, this is never a band which comprises a lead soloist plus supporting players; instead, all four combine to create music for which each of them is partly responsible, with ideas freely flowing around between them. Exemplary improv, in fact.
Glow; Wilderness; Tide of Passion; Heart Core; Inner Sense.
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