Benoît Delbecq

Dice Thrown

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AllMusic Review by

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.

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