Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Francois Carrier / Rafal Mazur / Michel Lambert - Oneness (FMR Records, 2017)

The music on this impressive album was created spontaneously in the moment by Francois Carrier on alto saxophone and Chinese oboe, Rafal Mazur on acoustic bass guitar and Michel Lambert on drums, and was recorded live in Krakow in 2015. "Oneness" opens the album with breathy saxophone and subtle bass and drums probing the space and confidently attacking the silence. The music is very well recorded and it captures the alluring tone of the acoustic bass guitar and the dynamic tension it creates with the other instruments as the music moves forward, developing an eloquent collective improvisation at a medium up pace. The bass and drums drill down into the music, with raw and taut saxophone engaging them in a fierce meeting. The exotic sound of Carrier's oboe introduces "Flow" which squeaks and swirls around with cymbals and bass fluttering around with a deep sense of adventure. He moves back to saxophone as the performance progresses, getting down to business in an exciting fashion with an intense three way improvisation, building to a fast and frenetic conclusion of raw musical power. "Observations" has a quieter beginning, spacious with choppy drums and insistent bass helping the music gain steam building to a fortress of sound, buoying the music and lifting the sound further with exciting saxophone astride thick bass and rattling drums. Bass and drums provide a firm foundation as the startling and fascinating sound of the oboe crashes in. Swapping to saxophone, Carrier leads the band to a furious section before throttling back to an airy conclusion. The trio develops a long and dynamic improvisation on "Uplifting," coming out of the gate fast and hard. Thick bass and drums flow as the saxophone takes flight to soar. There is exciting saxophone wailing over potent rhythm in an intricate improvisation. Raucous patterns and raw rending saxophone of unrelenting power continue, then the music slows to a spacious section of elastic bass and skittish percussion. The lull doesn't last long and soon the trio is in full flight once again, dashing forward at a breakneck pace. The album is concluded by "The Urgency of Now" which is another lengthy track that begins patiently, building music infused with humility and humanity and developing an architecturally sound improvisation. The music is lean and tough, with saxophone shrieking in an ecstatic manner in the company of elastic bass and roaring drums. They incorporate patches of oboe, that startling sound, and then conclude in a profoundly remarkable manner. Oneness - francoiscarrier.com.

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