The first of two volumes documenting Canadian alto saxophonist Francois Carrier and the trio of Michel Lambert on drums and Alexy Lapin on piano in their 2010 tour of Russia, here performing at DOM Cultural Center and Nikitskaya Jewish Cultural Center.
Carrier, Francois / Michel Lambert / Alexey Lapin
The Russian Concerts Volume 1
Released in: Great Britain
"Back in 2011, this trio released an excellent trilogy of albums which documented a December 2010 tour of Russia by Canadian alto saxophonist Francois Carrier and his long-time drummer Michel Lambert during which they played with Russian pianist Alexey Lapin in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Now, The Russian Concerts Volume 1 again documents the three together in Moscow, but this is not a fourth record of the 2010 tour, instead being the first (of several, judging by its title) from April 2013. The music come from two consecutive days-three pieces recorded on April 27th at DOM Cultural Center and one piece from 28th at Nikitskaya Jewish Cultural Center, over seventy minutes of music in total. (Incidentally, the YouTube clip below shows them on April 29th in St. Petersburg... there are plenty of fine clips of this trio on the site.)
The music here displays the same strengths that made the 2010 trilogy so extraordinary. As before, all of those strengths are due to the three players, individually or collectively. The album carries a phrase that typifies Carrier's thoughts on music making: "Music comes out of silence." In practice, that means that everything here is improvised but, as before with this trio, it all flows so smoothly that it would be impossible to guess that they were not working from written themes. The key to that is Carrier's saxophone playing and his ability to reel out a never-ending stream of coherent melodic phrases which he then uses as source material to explore at length. He constantly invests his music with variety and freshness by subtle shifts of tone and attack. Carrier is adept at producing climactic tumults of music-as he shows on the half-hour-long "DOM 1" -but he builds up to them logically, taking the listener with him every step of the way, with no sudden or clunky gear changes; thankfully, he shows no interest in going from nought to sixty in seconds.
While Carrier is the focus for much of the time, this is no one-man-band, as Lambert and Lapin are just as vital to the music's drive and momentum as he is, both as accompanists and soloists in their own right. Together, the three of them play as a coherent unit who sound as tight as one that is gigging together constantly. Impressive stuff. After the model of the 2011 releases, we must hope and expect that this tour will provide plenty more music of this quality to follow, an edifying prospect..."-John Eyles, All About JazzSee also The Russian Concerts Volume 2
• Show Bio for Francois Carrier
"b. 5 June 1961, Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada. Carrier began his career as a professional jazz musician, playing alto saxophone in Vancouver in 1979. He soon attracted attention from fellow musicians and a growing audience through his often audacious approach to his music. Based since 1982 in Montreal, he has shown himself to be a fluid and inventive performer of improvised music, especially since the formation in 1990 of his trio, in which he was joined by bass player Pierre Coté and drummer Michel Lambert. Following the release of Intuition, which was nominated as Jazz Album Of The Year at the 1998 Gala de l'ADISQ (Québec's Music Awards show), Carrier's trio toured Europe, playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Also in 1998, Carrier founded Nouvel Ensemble De Musique Improvisée (NoEMI), a gathering of like-minded free players, among whom have been Dewey Redman and Sonny Greenwich.
Early in 2002, Carrier spent some months composing new works in Rome, having won an award by the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. More tours of Canada and some European countries followed, as did more acclaimed albums. Over the years, in concert and sometimes on record, Carrier's trio has been augmented by guest pianists who have included Steve Amirault, who appeared on Carrier's Juno Award-winning Compassion (2000), Paul Bley and Gary Peacock, heard on Traveling Lights (2004), Uri Caine, on All'Alba (2003), Jason Moran and Bobo Stenson. Among other musicians with whom he has worked are Mat Maneri, Uwe Neumann and Gary Peacock.
Carrier's sound is tough and he attacks his music with verve and unpredictability, demanding, and successfully receiving from audiences, attention to and understanding of the swiftly changing moods he explores."
"Francois Carrier knows how to surround himself, find the most compatible partners, and maintain a recorded presence all over the world. His rich, deep playing that blends lyricism with boldness and a sense of surpassing one's self has earned him a place in the Eight Annual International Critic's Poll of El Intruso 2015 and in the DownBeat's 2013 Best Alto Sax Players List. In 2001 he won a Juno Award in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category for his third album Compassion (Naxos Jazz).
To date, François combines an impressive discography of over thirty internationally acclaimed albums with legendary musicians such as Paul Bley, Gary Peacock, Bobo Stenson, Tomasz Stanko, Uri Caine, Jason Moran, Dewey Redman, Mat Maneri, Sonny Greenwich, Jean-Jacques Avenel, John Edwards, Steve Beresford, Rafal Mazur, etc. Drummer Michel Lambert has been his most faithful collaborator. Together, Michel and François undertook several tours in Europe, Asia and Canada.
In 2002, François spent six months in Québec Studio in Rome as a saxophonist-composer where created links with the Italian music scene. He also lived in the Québec Studio in London in 2011, where he worked among other things in the development of his Free Opera and initiates a number of recording sessions with several London musicians.
In 2005 he was spotted by British label Leo Records with whom he released five unique albums. Several European avant-garde music labels then join the party such as Creative Sources (Portugal), Ayler Records (Sweden-France), FMR Records (England), Not Two Records (Poland). Following the major international media coverage, the demands keep multiplying. Thus soon, François will publish four new albums recently recorded during his 2015 European tour on NoBusiness Records (Lithuania) For Tune Records (Poland) and FMR Records."-AllMusic (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/fran%C3%A7ois-carrier-mn0000154012/biography) plus Francois Carrier Website (https://francoiscarrier.com/bio/)
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• Show Bio for Michel Lambert
"Michel Lambert is the descendant of a virtual dynasty of classical musicians in Quebec. First exposed to music by his mother and then his grandfather Omer Létourneau, he spent a good part of his youth between the Petit Séminaire and the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec, the city where he was born in 1959. His fascination with drums and composition inspired him to pursue his musical education at Berklee College in Boston, where his professors included John La Porta, Herb Pomeroy, and Greg Hopkins. Later on, he travelled to Paris, attended the Banff Jazz Workshops, studied with Dave Liebman in New York and Misha Mengelberg in Amsterdam.
Following a few meetings with Charlie Haden, he joined Milcho Leviev's trio in Los Angeles in 1983. Since then, different projects have taken him to Europe, across Canada, the U.S. and Asia, at different festivals like the Berliner Jazztreff, Jazzfest Wien, l'Europa Jazz Festival du Mans, Pori Jazz, Internationales New Jazz Moers, Tampere Jazz Happening, Jakarta Jazz Festival, Birmingham Jazz Festival, le Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and many others.
He has performed and recorded with Gary Burton, Dewey Redman, Barre Phillips, Kenny Wheeler, Bobo Stenson and Uri Caine among others. In Toronto from '87 to '94 and living in Montreal since '96, he has performed coast to coast with the groups of Sonny Greenwich, Herbie Spanier, Wray Downes, Don Thompson or Dave Young.
A recording artist in Europe with Lonely Universe for CMP Records, Germany / Jimco Japan, the cd project won international acclaim ... "adventurous yet contained, always uncompromisingly searching" quoted the New York Review of Records. With Finnish guitar player Raoul Björkheim, a review of "Ritual" in Wire Magazine mentioned " ...a vital and important record..." . He performs internationally with his wife, vocalist Jeannette Lambert, whose recent cd "Lone Jack Pine" is described in Cadence as "... art at a very high level".
He has Canadian recording credits which include, for Justin Time, with Dave Young, "Inner Urge" and 1993 JUNO Award-winning "Fables and Dreams", the Herbie Spanier Anthology volume I and II and "Resonance" with Reg Schwager and François Carrier Trio with Uri Caine. On the Rant Label, he has produced several sessions with his ground breaking trio Maïkotron Unit, "5ieme cycle de 7", "Composition with Three Figures" and Lonely Universe "à la Plage". Other recordings include "Les Trois Michel" with Michel Donato and Milcho Leviev for DSM , AD2000 with Agostino Di Giorgio a session recorded in Budapest, the year 2000 Canadian JUNO Award-winning session, "Compassion", Krakatau "Alive", in Helsinki, and Frédéric Alarie Trio "Live à Vienne" for Fidelio Audio. Michel Lambert also appears on numerous cd compilations.
In 2001 he started a series of compositions titled "Musiques Dessinées", entirely based on drawings. In 1998, with a grant from the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, he was resident of the Studio du Québec in New York City. In 1988, he composed his "Journal des Episodes, 366 Episodes pour orchestre symphonique" . In '92, 33 excerpts from the work received a World Premiere performance at the first Winnipeg New Music Festival by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. His orchestral works also include "Le Passant, Triptyque pour Orchestre Symphonique" ('92). As a composer and band leader, over 50 of his jazz related compositions have been broadcast nationally. When he brought his quartet to the Ontario Science Centre for CJRT Sound of Toronto Jazz Series, critics wrote "...a challenging hour of unusual fare created by a masterly drummer" et "Lambert pushes the Jazz series to the edge"."-Michel Lambert Website (http://www.michellambert.com/index.htm)
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European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
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Catalog ID: FMRCD367
Squidco Product Code: 19037
Country: Great Britain
Recorded live at DOM Cultural Center in Moscow on April 27th and at Nikitskaya Jewish Cultural Center (JCC) In Moscow on April 28th, 2013.
Francois Carrier-alto saxophone
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1. DOM I 30:09
2. DOM II 10:33
3. DOM III 9:57
4. ICC I 19:57