François Carrier

Inexhaustible improviser François Carrier has captivated critics and audiences alike with his intense and original playing. Inspired by the vibrating and dynamic power of sounds, Carrier is interested in exploring what he calls the 'emotional atmosphere' in music, and in celebrating ephemeral beauty of the passing moment. Whether in a meditative mood or a playful one, Carrier is always unpredictable. His colorful and vibrant melodies take the listener on a journey into unknown, fertile and boundless territories, and invite us to keep our ears wide open and to live in the present.

Won over by jazz since his early teens, François Carrier found in improvisation a mode of communication that reflected his intense need for expression. From the West Coast of Canada to the East, he benefited from every occasion to study and perform with well-known jazzmen and educators. This audacious explorer of sounds quickly earned a name for himself as a musician of singular personality and individual style. With the formation of the François Carrier Trio in 1990, Carrier increasingly devoted himself to composition and in that realm, the pursuit of his musical identity.

Soon after, he launched his first album, Poursuite, composed entirely of original pieces. In June 1997, he launched his second CD, Intuition. With this album, the François Carrier Trio received a nomination at the Gala de l'ADISQ (Québec's Music Awards show) in 1998, in the category 'Album Jazz de l'Année.' In 1998, Carrier returned to Montreal to share his musical ideas with others. With a desire to experiment, to create and to explore the infinite possibilities of acoustic music, François founded NoEMI (Nouvel Ensemble de Musique Improvisée), which united a diverse array of musicians and composers. This ensemble played at the Festival de Jazz de Québec (with special guest, saxophonist Dewey Redman) as well as at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal.

That same year, the François Carrier Trio presented a series of concerts at Switzerland's prestigious Festival de Jazz de Montreux and at the Festival Jazz à Vienne in France. For his third recording, Compassion (Naxos Jazz), he brought together acoustic bassist Pierre Côté, drummer Michel Lambert and pianist Steve Amirault (enlarging the trio on three pieces) to form the François Carrier Trio + 1, four outstanding improvisers devoted to the same spirit of free play and creation. In March 2001, Compassion was awarded the Juno Award for "Best Contemporary Jazz Album."

In 2001, the François Carrier Trio recorded an album with their special guest, internationally acclaimed New York-based pianist Uri Caine. Met with wide acclaim from both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the Far East, this fourth recording, All'Alba (Justin Time Records), confirmed once again the group's originality and depth. François was chosen by a jury of the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec to spend six months in Rome, Italy, where he spent most of his time composing new works.

Returning to Montreal at the end of June 2002, François Carrier toured the major Canadian Jazz festivals with his Trio with special guest pianists Bobo Stenson and Jason Moran. The Trio also toured Italy in November 2002. A subsequent European tour followed in July 2003 with drummer Michel Lambert and pianist Uri Caine at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. For his second Justin Time recording, Travelling Lights, released in April 2004, François Carrier is joined by two of jazz's revolutionary giants, Paul Bley and Gary Peacock, as well as regular collaborator, drummer Michel Lambert.

Carrier, ever the accomplished improviser, continues with this fine recording his creative evolution with power and maturity which will undoubtedly find many satisfied listeners. European dates are anticipated for the autumn of 2004 as well as next year and early 2006.