Odd Sound ODS-30

Philippe Cote (Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Piano, Prepared Piano), Francois Bourassa (Piano)

Recorded at Oktaven Audio September 1-3, 2022

“It’s all about water and the places defined in its presence…”

“A confluence” refers to where two or more bodies of water meet and merge to become one, transforming both in the process. In the same way, these musicians reached their peak as a duo.

The album is centered around improvisational music inspired by jazz and modern classical music. It stands out from other duo releases by showcasing Cote’s performance on saxophones, piano, and prepared piano. Writing credits are shared between both musicians. The Confluence Suite, a five-movement piece, is the focal point of the duo’s performance, featuring various instrument combinations.

The “Tour 1” piece starts with a grand piano tune, with Cote on the soprano saxophone. The music gives the impression of a relaxed stroll, with intermittent pauses to admire the surroundings. The musicians expertly blend their sounds, creating a harmonious and captivating duet. The piece follows a traditional structure, with each musician taking turns to display their skills.

“1190 Chemin De La Montagne” is a beautiful homage to the singer and composer Gabriel Kahane. The song starts with the soprano introducing the theme while the piano provides a supportive accompaniment. The saxophone sound is reminiscent of Jan Garbarek’s work for ECM, and both musicians adopt a gentle and reflective approach while playing this evocative tune.

The “Muted Song” piece starts with a prepared piano that establishes the rhythm and enhances Borurassa’s piano sounds. The prepared piano produces a steady beat slightly different from the piano, creating a distinct and unusual sensation. In the middle part of the piece, the piano takes over and performs a solo that showcases Bourassa’s unique style and exquisite beauty.

The “Confluence Suite” consists of five movements, each representing a famous water location from Canada, India, and Africa. Although each movement is intriguing, the Suite is best experienced when listened to in one sitting.

“Chire” pays homage to Steve Reich, one of Bourassa’s inspirations. The soprano voice flows in and out, singing over the piano chords and notes. Over time, the musical elements favored by Reich become more noticeable, with the piano’s shifting notes and beats that evolve in a Reich-like fashion. As the piano propels the song forward, the soprano voice soars above all else.

Bourassa and Cote are highly skilled musicians who can take their listeners on a mesmerizing musical journey. Combining Cote’s diverse instruments with Bourassa’s elegant piano playing creates excitement and an outstanding CD. These gifted and exploratory instrumentalists have showcased their excellent musicianship and produced a truly exceptional piece of music.