Francois Bourassa Quartet – Swirl – Live at Piccolo (ENG review)

Effendi records – Street date July 7th 2023
Free Jazz
Francois Bourassa Quartet Swirl - Live at Piccolo (FR review)

Europeans will not be surprised by this album, which draws its sources from classical music, free jazz, and improvised music. In this regard, it doesn’t bring much new to what already exists in Europe, where it even comes across as a pale imitation. However, the musicians play admirably, but definitively, as much as this kind of music can be exciting to follow live, on an album, it’s the opposite. Fortunately, the mixing is superb.
The compositions are extremely intricate and perfectly executed. This genre of music will inevitably leave many people on the sidelines because it is highly intellectual jazz that demands the same level of effort as theater to be understood. It oscillates from almost silent moments to moments that are too verbose for my taste. Indeed, this type of musical writing can only find its space on stage, where the ambiance of the stage and the audience lends itself to a very attentive listening that is necessary for this kind of work. Even with the best audio equipment, it is impossible to fully experience all the emotions that the musicians convey in this live recording.
It is the moment that counts in the space-time, everything that such a digital work offers, which is important in this writing. Here’s what Carla Bley wrote: “I am compelled to write to let you know that both of us were moved by the music you and the quartet made. …Congratulations on a wondrous piece of work. …And, we should add, it’s thoroughly refreshing to hear music that forces players to stretch to the limit.” – Steve Swallow & Carla Bley, Number 9 (2017).
This kind of music is the music of life, of expression, of theatrical dramaturgy, which, once again from my point of view, doesn’t belong on a CD but should be experienced by each of us at least once in our lives. This music opens the mind, the soul, the heart. So many reasons that lead the editorial staff of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris Move to classify this album as “essential”, emphasizing the great artistic value of these musicians and the very high quality of writing of these works.

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, July 6th 2023