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Album Review

Clarinetist François Houle (Canada) and pianist Benoît Delbecq (France) are well known for their respective modern/free jazz tendencies. Here, they opt for a chamber-like program, founded upon an organic approach, often marked by ethereal musings. They pursue quietly atmospheric soundscapes and dark, hallowed thematic forays via an abundance of delicately enacted exchanges. Delbecq's prepared piano manipulations suggest an implied rhythmic force. However, on pieces such as "Shaw," he establishes a three-chord ostinato for Houle's wraithlike and altogether sweet-toned lines. They use space as a means for expressionism amid an abundance of subtly enacted tapestries of sound. A strange beauty permeates throughout this affair, due to a hodgepodge of enigmatically articulated passages. Hence, the duo spurs notions of embarking upon an imaginary sojourn as they effectively communicate a sequence of mood-evoking vignettes and charmingly constructed abstracts.


Born: 1966 in Paris, France

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Jazz and contemporary classical-trained pianist Benoît Delbecq helped revitalize Paris' new music scene in the 1990s. He is a founding member of numerous groups including Painting (his quartet with Steve Argüelles), the Hask Collective (since 1992), Kartet, and the Recyclers (with Argüelles and Noël Akchoté). Delbecq has also performed in two groups led by Serge Adams: the Quoi de Neuf Docteur, a big band, and the African-influenced jazz project which toured central Africa, Jazz Mic Mac. Delbecq...
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Dice Thrown, Benoît Delbecq
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