Stir – Charuest / Fernandez / Caloia / Valsamis

Yves Charuest : saxophone alto
Agusti Fernandez : piano
Nicolas Caloia : contrebasse
Peter Valsamis : percussions

"The group involved in Stir begins as an unrecorded Montreal-based trio called Still that consists of alto saxophonist Yves Charuest, bassist Nicolas Caloia and drummer Peter Valsamis, then adds the titanic Spanish pianist Agustí Fernández. It's a collective performance by a compound ensemble devoted to free jazz, but there's also a sense of traditional roles, with Charuest and Fernández frequently in the foreground.

Charuest runs counter to expectations for free jazz saxophonists, his playing consistently lyrical, often understated, his brief, sometimes elliptical lines conveying intense passion and thought, but rarely cascades of notes or distorted timbres. His original models likely included Lee Konitz, but Charuest, who began his career in the 1980s and spent a creative stretch in Europe, long ago sublimated his influences into a distinctly personal style. Charuest's meeting with Fernández can suggest some of the David-and-Goliath dialogue of Jimmy Lyons and Cecil Taylor, but the telepathic interaction practised by the two is remarkable, with even short, simultaneous phrases sounding like they might have arrived via manuscript paper.

The collective improvisations Stir presents here are titled (Un)fold I-VI, and range from brief episodes (the delicate I and the pensive VI) to extended forays. The group's raw power and investigative reach explode on (Un)fold II, while III is a foray into sounds in which Caloia and Valsamis, always creative in support, come forward, sometimes mingling indistinguishably with the interior of Fernández' piano. This is free jazz of the first order."-Stuart Broomer, TheWholeNote

The Montreal free improvising trio Still of Nicolas Caloia on bass, Peter Valsamis on drums, and Yves Charuest on saxophone is joined in the studio by visiting Spanish pianist Agusti Fernandez for a superb set of detailed and energetic free jazz, 6 pieces titled "(un fold)" I - VI, making an album of first rate and exciting collective music.

© Yves Charuest et Nicolas Caloia (SOCAN), Peter Valsamis (ASCAP), Agustí Fernández (SGAE)

Enregistré le 19 juin 2014, studio Hotel2Tango, Montréal.
Prise de son : Thierry Amar
Mixage et mastering : Bernard Grenon
Peintures Untitled 3 (2017) et Untitled 5 (2017) : John Heward
Photographie : Patrick Andrew Boivin
Graphisme : Marie-Pierre Morin
Production : Yves Charuest

Mes plus sincères remerciements à Agustí Fernández, Nicolas Caloia, Peter Valsamis, Thierry Amar, Bernard Grenon, John Heward, Éric Normand, Peter Burton, Carole Bélanger et Chen-Wei Liu pour leur présence et leur soutien.
Yves Charuest, mars 2017