Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
247

Francois Carrier: Within

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count Views
Francois Carrier: Within Within opens with François Carrier's alto saxophone played alone. From these very precise, centered, and yet soft-edged notes, the change to the listening space is immediate and complete. The line floats and twists, making feints towards melody, rhythmic regularity and harmony, only to turn away. A seemingly familiar phrase flies by without being developed, but rather is consumed in the ongoing flow of the music.

Such is the impact of this June 24, 2007 live recording from the Calgary Jazz Festival. Joined by his long-time partner, percussionist Michel Lambert and guest bassist Jean-Jacques Avenel, the trio plays music that is the essence of jazz: completely in the moment, with each player listening intently—leading and following simultaneously.

Within is but the latest installment in Carrier's musical journey, documented in a series of live recordings starting with Happening (Leo, 2006) and moving through Open Spaces (Spool, 2006) (with Dewey Redman), Noh (Ayler, 2007) and Kathmandu (FMR, 2008). Each recording is quite different superficially, but they are tied together by Carrier's musical being, as well as that of Lambert, who plays on each. The journey that the albums represent over the past few years is distilled in miniature within each, and has reached a peak on Within.

As he has done in the past, Carrier brought his own recording equipment to capture this performance. The bass on the record is unclear, distant and not separated at times—the microphones were placed a bit too far from Avenel's bass, which was a mediocre one provided by the festival. Despite this minor sonic detail, the music is enormously vibrant and powerful, with Avenel not only fitting in, but playing anything like a guest performer.

"Core," which clocks in at over forty minutes, epitomizes the distinctive characteristic of Carrier's music. This towering experience stops time in its tracks—there is no listening fatigue since the music is constantly changing its emphasis and characteristics. While Lambert and Avenel develop a something of a pulse early on, Carrier flits all around this regularity, for the most part ignoring it despite its insistence.

Avenel and Lambert then play a phenomenal duo section that leads to a different rhythmic pattern which underlies Carrier's return. The intensity continues to rise as all three players, although speaking separately, produce a unified sound. At about the halfway point, the density recedes, and Lambert and Carrier begin a duo, only to be joined by Avenel playing a sanza, which is an African plucked idiophone. Its entirely different sound and repetitive note patterns produce a magical sensation, which is picked up and extended by Lambert and Carrier.

Description does little to convey this music's depth, intensity and sheer joy—it really must be heard. Within is an exquisite document of three players who have entered the zone, and brought the audience along with them.


Track Listing: Moment; Core; Experience.

Personnel: François Carrier: alto and soprano saxophone; Michel Lambert: drums; Jean-Jacque Avenel: acoustic bass, sanza.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Leo Records | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
OUTgoing
OUTgoing
FMR Records
2016
buy
iO
iO
FMR Records
2015
buy
UNKNOWABLE
UNKNOWABLE
Not Two Records
2015
buy
The Russian Concerts Vol. 1
The Russian Concerts...
FMR Records
2014
buy
The Russian Concerts Vol. 2
The Russian Concerts...
FMR Records
2014
buy
Overground To The Vortex
Overground To The...
Not Two Records
2013
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Peggy Lee Peggy Lee
vocalist
Henry Grimes Henry Grimes
bass, acoustic
Oliver Lake Oliver Lake
saxophone
Mark O'Leary Mark O'Leary
guitar
Gebhard Ullmann Gebhard Ullmann
saxophone

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.