After releasing a solo album entitled “L’Impact du Silence” at the height of the pandemic, François Bourassa returns to the quartet format he has successfully used since 1996, in the company of André Leroux, Guy Boisvert and drummer Greg Richie, replaced here by young Guillaume Pilote.
This in no way detracts from the cohesion of the group, whose rigorously-structured, free-flowing message remains far from the usual conventions, giving pride of place to improvisation. We find the ardour of free music, the lyrical accents of swing and, here and there, subtle touches of Webern’s music, all supported by the quality of the leader’s compositions.
And then there’s the constantly inspired playing of the various protagonists. Initially influenced by John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, saxophonist André Leroux has built a personal style whose originality is apparent in his playing.
François Bourassa draws on his extensive musical knowledge to develop lively silver choruses with sometimes surprising, always in-tune lines, backed by the unfailing support of Guy Boisvert and Guillaume Pilote, who step out of their role as tempo keepers to offer the soloists judicious alternatives.
In short, we have here a convivial music that leaves nothing to chance, driven by a taste for risk, and whose natural flow is not disrupted by any downtime.
An exemplary achievement by the Effendi label.
André Leroux: soprano, tenor saxophones & flûte
François Bourassa: piano & compositions
Guy Boisvert: double bass
Guillaume Pilote: drums.
Live recorded at Studio Piccolo (Montréal, Québec), July 2 and 3, 2022
Wirl was released by label Effendi Records FND 169 and distributed by Socadisc.