The François Bourassa Trio is joined by André Leroux for this exciting live session recorded in 2001 at the Top o' the Senator in Toronto. Bourassa, a fine pianist and composer who draws inspiration from greats such as Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and Keith Jarrett, prefers to concentrate on original compositions, starting with a remake of his intense "30 Octobre 85." His mellow introductory duet with Leroux (heard on tenor sax) gives little indication that the piece will turn into something suggesting early-'60s John Coltrane, complete with a detour into a chorus of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue." At first, "W! U! W!" suggests African and aboriginal influences with Leroux's soprano sax squeals, Bourassa's hand-muting of the strings, and Guy Boisvert's droning bass. But as the song takes shape, the flavor is a mixture of Middle Eastern influences and post-bop in a delicious combination. Leroux switches to flute for the mysterious "13." Bourassa's "Herbie Nichols, Pt. 1" is a playful, quirky composition (with Leroux again on flute), while "Herbie Nichols, Pt. 2" is a turbulent workout with Leroux returning to tenor sax. The performance concludes with an introspective medley of four songs by Thelonious Monk. Drummer Yves Boisvert provides tremendous support throughout the entirety of the challenging program. Although none of the musicians is widely known outside of his native Canada, each deserves to be.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden