During their 2014 tour, Canadian saxophonist Francois Carrier and long-time partner, percussionist Michel Lambert, went into the Experimental Sound Gallery [ESG 21] in St. Petersburg, Russia with pianist Alexey Lapin to record these superb free improvisations.
Carrier, Francois / Michel Lambert / Alexey Lapin
Freedom Is Space For The Spirit
Released in: USA
"Saxophonist Francois Carrier had quite a week in late May of 2014. It began when he and his long-time percussionist Michel Lambert played with bassist John Edwards and pianist Steve Beresford at the Vortex Jazz Club in London on May 25th and ended with the duo performing with acoustic bassist Rafal Mazur at the Alchemia Jazz Klub in Krakow, Poland on June 1st and then recording the following day.
Sandwiched between London and Krakow was a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia where Carrier and Lambert play once again with pianist Alexey Lapin at the Experimental Sound Gallery [ESG 21] and recorded the darkly intense "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" (see The Russian Concerts Volume 1 for earlier encounters) .
Lapin is much different than Beresford, which in itself is not surprising. Playing somewhere near tonality with dense chordal curtains, Lapin evokes the sounds of late Russian Romanticism. Thus, much of the music has a tension produced by the (seemingly) familiar being heard in a different (spontaneous jazz) context.
Carrier is a very melodic "free" improviser, and Lapin's overall sound seems to bring out something deeper from him. Perhaps the quasi-tonality or tonal center allows Carrier's linear fragments and lines to work off Lapin's implied tonality. For listeners who "need" to be a bit more grounded, this music does provide that and hence is easier to get "inside" of.
The interplay between Lapin and Carrier demonstrates the quickness of their musical reflexes and how in tune they are with each other's aesthetic. Not be forgotten is Lambert, who can get buried at times beneath the low end of Lapin's piano, but his presence is essential, if only felt at times rather than heard.
Those who follow Carrier will revel in this fantastic music. Anyone looking to dip a toe in the spontaneous water will find nothing more worthwhile than the twenty-three minute ending track "Land of Paradoxes."
Music made in the moment where time and space have collapsed."-Budd Kopman, All About Jazz
• 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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• Show Bio for Alexey Lapin
Alexey Lapin is a Russian jazz pianist and composer, born 17 December 1966. He is known for his work with Francois Carrier, Michael Lambert, Roman Stolyar, Alexey Kruglov, Vladimir Shostak, Oleg Yudanov, Jaak Sooaar, Vlady Bystrov, Helen Bledsoe, Vitaly Zaitsev, Marcus Godwyn, Lena Sedykh, Nikolai Rubanov, &c.-Squidco 2/22/2017
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Catalog ID: FMRCD425
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Recorded live at Experimental Sound Gallery [ESG 21] in St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 29th, 2014, by Francois Carrier .
Francois Carrier-alto saxophone, oboe
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1. Freedon Is Space For The Spirit 14:51
2. Keep Calm 6:45
3. Happiness Not For Sale! 9:41
4. Nevsky Prospect 10:55
5. Land Of Paradoxes 23:35