FRANÇOIS CARRIER / MICHEL LAMBERT – Kathmandu

(FMR)

In October 2006, alto saxophonist Carrier and drummer Lambert were invited – together with a third member that didn’t make it on time – to Kathmandu (Nepal) in order to participate to Jazzmandu, a local festival of jazz and improvised music. In the liners, Carrier underlines the immediate sense of “positive radiation” felt upon arriving on location, deriving both from the beauties of that land and, above all, the natives who apparently transmitted loving energy throughout the duration of the trip and were willing to listen to – and be involved by – the most disparate aspects of the featured materials. The artists repaid this feeling with a set of improvisations – recorded in two different live settings – that sound as light-hearted as a casual conversation while maintaining the specific refinements of conscious, well-constructed instantaneous playing. The mood remains pretty jovial throughout, the reed man repeatedly joking with the audience before starting the pieces. When the instruments materialize, an elegant mantle of concentrated thankfulness and technical prowess wraps the duets, the musicians wandering in that zone where everyone can be an active party without necessarily reaching particular states of trance or detachment. It’s a collection of charming yet advanced vignettes positioned right in the middle of the emotional range. If the ancient Latin saying “in medio stat virtus” is still true, then the protagonists have reached their goal with a single endeavour. One fuelled by optimistic vibrations.

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