220

Francois Carrier: Happening

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Francois Carrier: Happening
Listeners who have followed multiple reed player François Carrier, particularly his two 2004 releases Play (482 Music) and Traveling Lights (Justin Time), will welcome this double-CD offering on Leo. Not only is Happening a double dose of outstanding freely improvised (as opposed to "free") jazz, but it is recorded live. Carrier's long-time trio partners Pierre Cote (bass) and Michel Lambert (drums) join him, plus Mat Maneri on viola and Uwe Neumann on various Indian instruments, including sitar and anandolohori (Indian talking drum).

Anyone who's not familiar with the language of free improvisation may find Happening a very good place to get their feet wet: the music has extraordinary coherence and developmental logic, played out in real time. One player will present and develop a motive or theme, which is then taken up by another; or an interjection will be picked up and developed as a new theme; or a clear pulse will naturally emerge out of the mist. Everyone involved is quite secure and skilled at this kind of thing; indeed, the core trio has been doing it for years.

Much is made in the notes of the Indian instruments, microtones, modal music and the convergence of Western and Eastern musical aesthetics. This music most definitely is not a mix of those traditions like Samita Sinha's Seep or Sunny Jain's on Avaaz—or, for that matter, Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa's duo work on Raw Materials.

Yes, the sitar plays in the (Western) cracks, and yes, microtonal playing is quite natural to Mat Maneri (in part through his father Joe), and finally, yes, there is no tempered instrument like a piano present. Also, while the music most definitely feels modal in that there is an anchor note supporting some kind of scale, the rhythms, when they are present, are not Indian, and the entire improvisational approach, including phrasing, is most definitely Western. Thus, to these ears, the sitar sounds a bit forced, or at least grafted onto what music that otherwise feels very natural.

That said, this music is exquisitely exciting. Carrier, playing both alto and soprano saxophones, both leads and follows, spinning long, unpredictable lines. With and against him, Maneri plays the most Western (and classical) instrument, constantly pushing and pulling everyone else. Cote and Lambert can be heard sensing what is happening and supporting it, while also occasionally taking charge.

Listening to Happening is like being a member of the audience during its recording, and the experience is highly recommended.

Track Listing

CD1: Happening (one); Happening (two); Happening (three); Happening (encore); Happening (sound check). CD2: Happening (four); Happening (five).

Personnel

Fran

Album information

Title: Happening | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Leo Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Improdimensions
Improdimensions
Agustí Fernández / Liudas Mockūnas
Read In Baltimore
In Baltimore
George Coleman
Read Escape The Flames
Escape The Flames
Binker and Moses

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.