Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Francois Carrier, Unwalled, with Alexander von Schlippenbach, John Edwards, Michel Lambert


Unwalled (Fundacja Sluchaj) has come to us recently and so much the better for all who appreciate what is exemplary in Free Jazz today. In a studio date recorded in early 2022 we have Canadian alto sax wizard Francois Carrier joining forces with regular associates bassist John Edwards and drummer Michel Lambert and special guest pianist Alexander Von Schlippenbach in a wide-ranging, free-wheeling set of great expressivity and inventiveness from all concerned. 

All the Carrier albums I have heard in the last decade are good, show us a fully eloquent and inventive artist at a peak. There is virtually no one better suited to openly free invention these days and so there are many of my favorite artists out there that I wish he would get a chance to play with some, but the group he fields here is as close to ideal for him as I could think of, though of course results would differ with other primo artists. That perhaps is coming up. Happily though this one bedazzles us with a lot to like,

The rhythm team of  bassist Edwards and drummer Lambert give Carrier a virtually endless tapestry of free variations with which to play against. And too Schlippenbach has that accompanying open invention and then an ultra-dynamic and creative second front-line voice of excellence.

After a good umber of listens I am happy to report in on this--one of Carrier's very best, a milestone and a bellwether of why Francois is one of the very best and most lucid of free sax players today. Do not miss this one!

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