What a treat to hear the great Stenson join Carrier’s probing trio at the Vancouver Jazz Festival on Entrance 3. It’s hard not to compare the bassist and drummer to Danielsson and Christensen I reckon, but each time I make this association it’s in the context of praise. First of all, this is a well-seasoned trio (even at the time of this recording, nearly a decade ago; with Coté’s big rubbery lines and Lambert’s latticework meshing perfectly with Carrier’s long lyrical sax layers and sudden explorations of densely packed lines. Stenson fits right in, delicate and muscular, harmonically dense and brilliantine spare, and his presence seems to catalyze the trio wonderfully. Carrier starts off the set with a gorgeous alto solo, probing and intervallic, with touches of heat to seal off each phrase. From there, the music gets nicely spiky in a late piano trio passage, filled with unison jabs and crashes even as they keep to the minimal theme in a supple, responsive way. Stenson flirts with the Blues here and there, but he’s so quick and subtle about it that it’s almost imperceptible. There’s real urgency and throb to “Lekh Leka,” and Stenson is exuberant, pushed continually by the terrific bassist and drummer. The same is true for the hardcore groove and nimble swing on title track, and the glorious mid-tempo closer. I would never have imagined this particular pairing, but Entrance 3 works damn well.
Cadence Magazine, Jason Bivins
François Carrier Trio+1 – Entrance 3
Larry Cosentino, Signal To Noise
Time has indeed subjected the big passions of the 1970s to different faes. Old Apollo hardware is gathering rust (here) and dust (there), but John Coltrane’s music is still in shiny service as a launching pad to spiritual heights. Canadian saxman François Carrier smelts a molten spirituality into a silvery, vibrato-less alto sax sound on anew release that blasts off from Coltrane but find its own trajectory. Entrance 3 captures Carrier in a live set at the 2002 Vancouver Jazz Festival, only now on CD, with Pierre Côté, bass, Michel Lambert, drums, and Bobo Stenson on piano. The first of four tracks, each about 12 or 13 minutes long, begins Coltrane-via-India style. Carrier unfolds his petals over a pedal point in the bass and inchoate churning in the drums. Then he plants his feet in Coltrane’s giant steps, blowing hard for the rest of the track, until the music gradually leaves its moorings and splinters into side alleys and alternate routes, settling in for a conciliatory closer, “L’Etang.” Stenson engages so closely with the trio it’s hard to believe he was an impromtu guest, but he also brings the wild-card edge that guest artists can bring to established groups under the right circumstances. Stenson’s murmuring exchange with Carrier in “Lekh Leka”, where they seem to duck behind a potted plant at a party and exchange secrets, is one of many highlights. Côté’s bass, a strong presence throughout, builds a metallic rim of structure around a hot bowl of soup.