François Houle Et Cetera
Vancouver clarinettist/soprano saxophonist in a live date for septet – his first release, and ours (1992). The ensemble creates shifting sonorities, moods and structures, with echoes of marching bands, Kansas City riffs, and post-bop drive, mixed with currents from the avant jazz and contemporary music scenes.
“Featuring some of Vancouver’s best, this septet boasts distinctive soloists and colourful ensembles…From free bop to eccentric swing, the music has Mingus-like intensity, plenty of passion and a generous amount of wit…The performances take plenty of chances…Highly recommended.” — Scott Yanow, Coda
“Monster clarinettist Houle leapt from classical music head-first only a few years ago but has the assurance and ideas of an old-pro. He’s also got a great band…An auspicious opener.” — John Corbett, The Wire
“Exhilarating melange of housequake, Kansas City bop, and John Carter’s pioneering vocabulary for clarinet…One of the best jazz discs this year.” – Andrew Jones, Montreal Mirror
“Hacienda reveals Houle’s unique compositional sensibility…The complex title suite, a sort of klezmer rhapsody, incorporates succinct improvisational statements that are fully integrated with ensemble support…One can’t help admiring Houle’s beautifully woody tone in the low register during his own solos.” – Steve Hahn, Option
“Houle has a deep affection for the entire creative music tradition. He also has the confidence, imagination and humour required to test the edges of tradition in a manner that keeps the music accessible to less musically advanced listeners…A stimulating program.” – Lois Moody, Ottawa Citizen
“One of the most significant new composers, bandleaders and clarinettists to emerge lately anywhere.” — Kevin Whitehead, Coda