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Francois Carrier - Entrance 3 (Ayler, 2011) ****

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Francois Carrier
By Stef

What fun good jazz can be! This is among the best, enjoyable and joyful post-bop music I've heard in a while. Canadian altoist François Carrier is accompanied by his usual companions Pierre Coté on bass and Michel Lambert on drums, with the great Bobo Stenson on piano for a live tour of Europe that took place in 2002.

Carrier's tone—as said before—is warm and sensual, his playing is expansive and lyrical, and the music is strongly indebted to Coltrane and Keith Jarrett's American quartet, with Dewey Redman coming to mind more than just once in a while.

The four compositions all come from his All'Alba cd released in 2002 (with Uri Caine on piano), but they get a totally, and in my opinion, better performance here. For one, the tracks are longer, allowing for longer development of the solos and more creative interaction. Second, Stenson has the kind of melodic fluidity that contrasts with Caine's more angular power, and that is actually a much better fit for Carrier's tone and playing. Third, the recording quality is better. with all four instruments incredibly well balanced, giving Coté and Lambert the full exposure they deserve.

Although less adventurous than some of the more recent outputs by these musicians, the playing is exceptional, truly “the music of life," let yourself float on the endless lyrical beauty this quartet offers.

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This story appears courtesy of Free Jazz by Stef Gijssels.
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