While Parker, here on tenor saxophone, really needs no introduction, Canadian Houle was once his student despite being first and foremost a gifted clarinettist; Delbecq – an important figure in Paris’ Hask Collective – performs on prepared piano. This is their first meeting, recorded in 2005 in Montréal and, in a way, made possible by Ken Pickering, a friend of all three and also the artistic director of the Vancouver International Festival. The recording is based upon three improvisations whose properties are immediately visible, one of them being the credible proximity between Parker and Houle’s reeds, the two avoiding shortcuts to the core of repercussion in any possible way. Nourished by Delbecq’s spurious resonances and chordal splashes, the trio advances with significant renouncement to meaningless trickery, preferring to watch their developed intuitions grow through situations of uncertain tranquillity and sudden incisiveness, curiously better expressed in their less extreme positioning during the flux of the creative juices. Totally rid of presumptuous postures, the musicians receive signals from the environment while appearing self-determined, playing around continuously reorganized structures that nevertheless make us think of a limpid ideal of emancipation from the norm. Affirmations that exploit coincidence and possibility, coalescing into a consistent vision that no one can afford to call “utopian”, as these men look like the components of a natural cycle in which everything – physically existent or just intuited – forces listeners to become believers. Reality is not unacceptable, except for the ones who want to forget about their own senses; Houle, Parker and Delbecq differentiate their approaches slightly, all the while converging on a single focal point, our aural gratification a sure thing.


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