by Phil Freeman @burn_amb | November 17, 2017 – 4:33 pm
François Bourassa Quartet, Number 9 (Effendi)
Montreal-based pianist François Bourassa and his longtime band (saxophonist/clarinetist/flautist André Leroux, bassist Guy Boisvert, drummer Greg Ritchie) have put together an impressive set of arty, but still swinging and energetic music on this album. It would be easy to imagine them signed to ECM, but just as easy to imagine the music suffering from that label’s overly polished studio sound. This stuff needs to have some bite, and it does. Bourassa lets loose tidal waves of notes that owe as much to classical as to jazz, and the other three strike a similar balance. Ritchie’s drumming is particularly evocative, keeping things moving without attempting to impose rhythm on the more abstract passages. Leroux’s solos owe a lot to Wayne Shorter; they wind around the melody like a snake coiling around a tree branch, ready to strike at someone walking by underneath.