FRANCOIS CARRIER TRIO + 1: Compassion (Francois Carrier Trio + 1/ Mike Nock) (Naxos Jazz: 8.6062-2)
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Unpredictable and adventurous, Canadian saxophonist François Carrier creates music in a style that is his own. A shinning light of the uniquely rich Quebec jazz scene, Carrier now takes his rightful place on the international scene with his newest CD, Compassion, released on Naxos Jazz.
Carrier was born in Chicoutimi in the province of Québec in 1961. He began his musical studies at the age of seven and the saxophone soon became his favorite instrument. As a teenager, he discovered jazz when, for the first time, he heard Phil Woods. At fifteen, he put together his first band - playing pop music - for his first gigs on stage. At the same time, he started studying at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec.
In 1979 he moved to Vancouver, where he studied and played with the likes Ritchie Cole, Dexter Gordon and Pepper Adams. In 1982, he came back to Quebec where he studied at the Faculty of Music of both McGill and Concordia universities. In 1986, Carrier carried on his career as a composer and player. In 1994, he launched his first CD, Poursuite. In 1995, Carrier was a nominee for the prestigious prize of "La Fondation des Musiques du Monde" at the Gala de l'Excellence de la Culture de Québec. His second release came in 1997, Intuition. He founded NoEMI (Nouvel Ensemble de Musique Improvisée) in 1998 to experiment, create and explore the infinite possibilities of acoustic music. The group recorded one album with jazz great Dewey Redman on tenor saxophone.
Enthralling listeners with his both intense and original post-bop playing on Compassion, François Carrier demonstrates he is an inexhaustible improviser. Inspired by the vibrant and dynamic power of sounds, he explores various emotional atmospheres and celebrates the ephemeral beauty of the moment passing by on Compassion. As the title suggests, there is a lot of heart and soul, but that's not all. Whether he gets into a meditative mood or a playful one, Carrier is always unpredictable. His colorful and vibrant melodies take us on a poetic journey.
All eight tracks on Compassion are composed by Carrier. On the CD, he brings together four solid Canadian jazz compatriots: Pierre Côté on acoustic bass, Michel Lambert on drums and on several tracks Steve Amirault on piano (enlarging the trio on four pieces) to form the François Carrier Trio + 1. Four outstanding improvisers devoted to music in the spirit of freeplay and creation. And, lest we forget, compassion!