Pierre Labbé Sextet – Tromper Eustache

Innovation? Thinking outside the box? Daring to be different? Perhaps a bit of all three is appropriate for the Pierre Labbe Sextet’s Tromper Eustache (Effendi Records, 2015).

The ensemble consists of Labbé, tenor sax and flute; Francisco Lozano, tenor sax and bass clarinet; Francois Bourassa, piano; Bernard Falaise, electric guitar; Clinton Ryder, doublebass; and Pierre Tanguay, drums.

“Inouie Ouie,” or “Unheard Hearing,” opens the set. It has a slow-to-moderate groove with a haunting theme. The saxophones overlap one another, with one providing a base or foundation while the other builds around it. As the music gradually amplifies, each goes his own way while keeping with the cohesion of the group. Piano, bass and drums are constant in the background, though each makes subtle variations. The song doesn’t have a discernible melody so much as it’s an example of free-form music with just enough structure to maintain a sense of shared purpose.

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