Monday, July 18, 2016

Alaine Bedard, Auguste Quartet, Circum Continuum

From Canada we hear vibrant modern jazz from bassist-bandleader-composer Alain Bedard and his Auguste Quartet in an album entitled Circum Continuum (Effendi 144). Alain mans the bass of course, joined by Felix Stussi on piano, Samuel Blais on alto, soprano and baritone, and Michel Lambert on drums as they wind through a set of substantive, attractive originals mostly by Bedard with one by Lambert, one by Blais, one by Stussi and one by Gilles Bernard.

The combination of strong written material and very dynamic improvisations is a winning one, with a crackerjack rhythm team opening up the swing for the nicely burnished abilities of the pianist, the saxophonist and naturally the bassist to call forth the muses.

It's music that swings directly and achieves a sort of poise that impresses while it gives out with excellent phraseology. Everyone is very modern but no one sounds precisely like somebody else. Alain, Felix and Samuel are accomplished soloists that never seem to tire or run out of good ideas. Michel's drumming carries the band with excellent and original time artistry.

It is one of those modern jazz sets that needs several listens because there is much going on. It is complex music, as often enough high modern jazz can be, and it gives back with pleasure and understanding all the listening care you put into the experiencing of it.

A joy to hear!

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