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Bebop Spoken There

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Born This Day
Louis Armstrong and Steve Andrews.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CD Review: Francois Bourassa Quartet Idiosyncrasie

Francois Bourassa (piano, voice), André Leroux (tenor & soprano saxophones, bass clarinet, voice), Guy Boisvert (double bass, voice) & Philippe Melanson (drums)
(Review by Russell).
Canadian pianist Francois Bourassa recorded Idiosyncrasie in 2011. The participating  musicians are long time associates, firmly established on the jazz scene in Canada and beyond. The album explores the links between contemporary jazz and twentieth century composers such as Berg, Schoenberg and Webern. Isola, the opening track, suggests off-centre Monk.
The band settles into a groove with André Leroux’s tenor insistent, if not dominant. The album’s sound is one of Satie-like stillness, introspection and space. Haiku-Darmstadt encapsulates these qualities. If there is a conscious use of the Haiku form in Bourassa’s composition then that is one for the musicologists.
There is  determinedly bleak piano playing, resisting the introduction of the other instruments until finally the group sound is heard. Bourassa’s repeated motifs punctuate the recording with layer upon layer of intricate lines and on occasion, perhaps too few, Leroux comes in with some powerful tenor. Philippe Melanson’s inventive drumming is tight throughout and bassist Guy Boisvert succeeds in combining delicacy and authority. Idiosyncrasie is available on Effendi Records. The Francois Bourassa Quartet can be heard in London at the Vortex on Monday 30 September (in a double bill with Stories), then at the Jazz Bar, Edinburgh (6 October), the Lit & Phil, Newcastle (7 October), followed by selected dates in Europe. It should be noted that on this autumn tour Greg Ritchie deps for Philippe Melanson.       
Russell.

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