Friday, July 3, 2015

Francois Carrier, Unknowable, with Michel Lambert and Rafal Mazur

The work of Francois Carrier, accomplished alto saxist and free-avant bandleader, has been gaining momentum in recent years. He is playing some great music these days, which is evident from listening to his recent CD Unknowable (Not Two 928-2). It is a live date from the Alchemia Jazz Klub, Krakow, Poland, recorded last year. Joining him is Michel Lambert, a driving force and long-time associate of Francois' on drums, and the busy, vibrant Rafal Mazur on doublebass.

The music is spontaneous, free, without compositional guidelines yet structured by the logic and inspiration of the trio. Bass and drums are dynamic and engaged in the best ways throughout.

And Francois on both alto and Chinese oboe has an irresistible flow to his playing. What strikes me especially lately is how lucid his improvisations have become. You hear the musical-logical inevitability of his note weaving as free and spontaneous, yet you follow the lines and you hear a compositional sensibility in what he does. The mark of a great player of course is partly this, that anything they do has the stamp of a personal force.

This live date gives you an exciting journey into free music with hairpin turns, full acceleration and expert maneuvering from the threesome.

Unknowable is a must-not-miss recording for all who appreciate the free modernism that is very much alive and flourishing today.

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