Music Reviews

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Artist: Philippe Lauzier (@)
Title: Transparence
Format: CD
Label: Schraum (@)
Rated: *****
Philippe Lauzier is based in Montréal and specializes in bass clarinet and saxophone, although this album also features half-bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, and motorized bells. That said, tracks crediting 'feedback with alto saxophone' clue the listener in that this is not a Kenny G style album. This is some minimal improv that uses a lot of silence to make the parts in which he is playing stand out that much more. That said, after a few listens, I found this to be a bit too minimal for my tastes. Some tracks work well, like 'Gisement,' with its deep, rattling bass drone punctuated by more traditional tones and 'Au-Dessus,' which features trills and warbles that become almost maddening (in a good way). Others, however, like 'Empoigner,' are so sparse as to leave you wondering if it was more a warm up session for the next track. I appreciate the judicious use of silence, but some tracks here are very sparse. I found this to be a mixed bag. When Lauzier is on, he's on, but the minimal tracks didn't seem to go anywhere. This album weighs in at around 43 minutes.

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