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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, Ian Lace, Peter Woolf, Colin Clarke


Francois Carrier alto sax
Pierre Cote bass
Michael Lambert drums
Steve Amirault piano
Recorded February 2000 Montreal Canada
NAXOS JAZZ 86062-2
 £4.65 AmazonUS $5.97

1. Compassion
2. Moksha
3. Mind at play
4. Lo
5. The Stream
6. Quest
7. Surrender
8. Nying Je

Francois Carrier is a Canadian born alto saxophonist who leads his own trio on this disc. [The plus one is pianist Steve Amirault who can be heard on tracks 1,4 and 8]

The music on this disc is contemporary jazz of the highest quality. The influences of style are eclectic,ranging from Arabic to Monk and beyond and the trio/quartet work as a most cohesive unit throughout.

The title track, to my ears, gives more than a passing nod to Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' and is none the worse for this resemblance of style. The saxophone moves with great assurance and passion over the shifting rhythm.

Moksha is a monk-like theme, it almost suggests a 'Train' song such as Little Rootie Tootie.. The sleeve note sums the piece up as a 'joyful blend', which is an accurate description.

The Stream has a strong African feel with just a hint of Klezmer to it. This shows how close Arabic and Israeli influences are in the Arts - I heard Klezmer overtones, and the sleeve note described it as 'Arabic intonations'.

Surrender is a boppy tune which moves into a modern blues section and is one of my favourite tracks on the album.

Francois Carrier is a highly accomplished alto player. His influences range along a line from Desmond to Dolphy with more emphasis on the latter end of the spectrum. Tonally he plays with that wonderful breadth and clarity heard in such players as Phil Woods and Jackie McLean.

Carrier states 'All my life I have been awkward with words, so when I discovered music at the age of seven I knew right away this was going to be my language.' Having heard and greatly enjoyed this disc [several times] I feel no hesitation in saying Francois Carrier need never feel at a loss for words again.

Dick Stafford

D.S. is a professional reed player and teacher living in Coventry.

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