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François Carrier Trio+1 - Entrance 3

Larry Cosentino, Signal To Noise

Time has indeed subjected the big passions of the 1970s to different faes. Old Apollo hardware is gathering rust (here) and dust (there), but John Coltrane's music is still in shiny service as a launching pad to spiritual heights. Canadian saxman François Carrier smelts a molten spirituality into a silvery, vibrato-less alto sax sound on anew release that blasts off from Coltrane but find its own trajectory. Entrance 3 captures Carrier in a live set at the 2002 Vancouver Jazz Festival, only now on CD, with Pierre Côté, bass, Michel Lambert, drums, and Bobo Stenson on piano. The first of four tracks, each about 12 or 13 minutes long, begins Coltrane-via-India style. Carrier unfolds his petals over a pedal point in the bass and inchoate churning in the drums. Then he plants his feet in Coltrane's giant steps, blowing hard for the rest of the track, until the music gradually leaves its moorings and splinters into side alleys and alternate routes, settling in for a conciliatory closer, "L'Etang." Stenson engages so closely with the trio it's hard to believe he was an impromtu guest, but he also brings the wild-card edge that guest artists can bring to established groups under the right circumstances. Stenson's murmuring exchange with Carrier in "Lekh Leka", where they seem to duck behind a potted plant at a party and exchange secrets, is one of many highlights. Côté's bass, a strong presence throughout, builds a metallic rim of structure around a hot bowl of soup.