Ethos is a French free improvisation trio formed of pianist Frédéric Blondy, bassist David Chiesa, and clarinetist Xavier Charles. Blondy maniacally plays the keys and insides of his instrument, his style being at times reminiscent of Keith Tippett, although stripped from any jazz references. Chiesa does a fair job, but remains discreet. The clarinetist uses extended techniques to cover commendable grounds. The trio's music belongs to the kind of free improvisation that is closer in terms of atmosphere to contemporary classical than jazz. More austere than some of Charles' other projects (La Pièce with the electro-acoustic duet Kristoff K. Roll, Silent Block), Ethos better illustrates his true (as in "unaltered by electronics") palette, which is pretty impressive by itself. "H" and "S" contain some very nice moments where things come together and fall apart. The dialogues between piano and clarinet are particularly rewarding. This is not the trio session of the year, but it is well worth listening to. An oddly sped-up improvisation is hidden at the end of the fifth track.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture