(Red Toucan)

Five of these “nine moments” were recorded in studio, while the remaining four come from a live recording at the Open Space Gallery in Victoria. The whole happened in a couple of days, in 2006; it’s pretty difficult to discern what was played in front of an audience and what not, as Laurence Svirchev correctly points out in the sleeve notes. A clarinet, double bass and drum trio that offers no typical point of entry, as the scintillating interplay occurring between the parts is at the same level of the brilliance of the single interpreters, with a few impressive glimpses of parallel awareness (“Moment tendu” and “Moment clé” spring to mind, but they’re just two of the various possible examples). Houle’s clarinet lines are fluorescent, at times ferine, otherwise squeezed, perennially in the centre of a spiral of intelligence – not an unnecessary note from him. Léandre, what words can we invent again to describe the almost furious energy animating this woman? Being able to savour those arcoed harmonics and that ogress-like tone in so many different contexts is always a beautiful happening. Strid is both discreet and inquisitive, capturing fragments of his comrades’ timbre to metabolize them in a silent proportion of percussive shapes and fine-grained listening ability. The light that comes out from the most spectacular conversations is nothing short of gleaming, our familiarity with educated improvisation enhanced thanks to the musicians’ visible will to give to the listeners. They give indeed, a lot.