For their third duo recording, Canadian saxophonist François Carrier and drummer Michel Lambert, play no less than twenty short improvised pieces, varying between 44 seconds and 6 minutes. In stark contrast to most other releases by Creative Sources, the music is relatively accessible, there is melody and rhythm, even implicitly, as opposed to the "organised sounds" that the label is better known for. The two musicians keep delving deeper into the essence of music, delivering their little miniatures with an immediacy and authenticity which also characterized their latest albums. The effort makes the music go away from the long Coltrane-like expansiveness that Carrier used in his live performances, yet transforming the spirituality into the more compact form, somewhat analogous to the short Japanese "haiku" verses. The music is indeed not epic anymore, it's poetry. Even in the wildest and most expressive pieces, lyricism and subtlety are omnipresent. There are moments when Carrier sounds like Dewey Redman, both in his warm tone and melodic phrasing, and Lambert is, well, himself, creative and light of touch. The shortness of the tracks also forces the two musicians to focus on the tunes' essence: a feeling, a sound, a rhythm. Creating it, wondering at it, playing around it, and closing it. But each piece has a story to tell, giving impressions from nature, and expressing a reaction to it, whether serene, as in "Growing", sad, as in "Tabula Rasa", or distressed, as in "Transformation", joyful, as in "Clouds" or "Unknown". The sound itself is very organic, with notes and rhythms growing out of their predecessors, quite naturally, without pretence, without a clear plan, yet definitely part of the same piece, and beautifully. The sound of life. Again, a great album. Gtef Gijssels (Free Jazz)

En vingt vignettes sonores composées sur l’instant, François Carrier (saxophones, flûtes) et Michel Lambert (percussions, objets) scellent sur Nada leur entente spéciale.
Assurée, aussi, celle-ci installe avec la même aisance miniatures déconstruites (Falls, Growing, Multiverses) et impressions sereines (Aperçu, Nada), Carrier distribuant aux unes et aux autres quelques parcelles de mélodies claires. Ici et là, une progression plus difficile corse l’échange et le sublime : Sparkies courant sur une gradation d’insistances aussi galvanisantes que l’est l’ensemble de Nada. Grisli (Le Son du Grisli)

En 1970, Jane Fonda, allié de Donald Sutherland et d'une jolie bande d'artistes activistes, faisait le tour des bases militaires américaines afin de sensibilisée la population américaine et ses soldats contre la guerre au Viet-Nam. Suivi Klute et le classique Tout va bien de Godard et Gorin. Mais en 1968, ne paradait-elle pas "innocemment" dans Histoires extraordinaires sous la direction de son époux de l'époque Roger Vadim? Et en 2007, ne particpait-elle pas au minable Georgia Rule? Je ne comprends pas Jane Fonda. Heureusement, je comprends Carrier et Lambert. (CISM 89.3)

Sax/drum duets, improvised free jazz in short doses. (Only a few tracks exceed 4 minutes.) Mostly upbeat, with a casual air. Carrier keeps to an airy sound with his sax, sticking to musical forms rather than all-out abstraction. Lambert adds some solid, chattery drumming but also insers the occasional whistle or noisemaker for a different sound.
Pretty much any track makes a nice little snack. A good followup to their "Kathmandu" live duo CD of a couple years ago.

More tuneful -- 1,2, 5, 9, 11, 13, 18

More abstract -- 4, 10, 17, 20

1- Pleasant
2- Upbeat
3- Wood flute, a zenlike mid/fast
4- Clattery, clangy statement.
5- Upbeat. Clackety percussion work.
6- Cool rolling drums, like a waterfall. Sprinkles of sax that become a gnarled flow later. Nice intensity here, a less laid-back track.
7- Wood flute and ocarina? Tweety; goofing around.
8- Thoughtfully tuneful
9- Shuffly beat, calmly edge-walking sax
10- Fast drum clatter, warbly sax
11- Smoothly tuneful sax
12- A chipper stroll, turns into an upbeat winding journey (6:51)
13- Perky and upbeat,
14- Chipper; develops patiently
15- Sounds of water + drum clutter. (0:47)
16- Touches of blues. A nice jam. (6:41)
17- Short & slashing
18- Pleasant after cluttery start
19- Briskly jazzy
20- A touch more sour. Mid/fast.

Craig Matsumoto (Zookeeper Online)

When Carrier's on saxes, it reminds me very much of the Braxton/Roach duets from the late 70s, when on flute, the Cherry/Blackwell sessions. Either way, competently and agreeably played, but nothing not heard before. 20 shortish tracks, not so differentiated. OK of its type. Brian Olewnick (Just Outside)

Canadian saxophonist, plays alto and soprano, and his long-time drummer sidekick, in a duet setting, running through 20 short exercises in 56:53. I've become a big fan, and have two of their records -- the trio Within on Leo and the 6-CD Digital Box on Ayler -- lined up for the next Jazz CG. This isn't quite as compelling, but doesn't disappoint as a catalog of ideas -- just roughly sketched out ones. Tom Hull (Jazz Prospecting)

To juz trzecie wspólne spotkanie dwóch kanadyjczyków. Bardzo owocne...mamy tu 20 utworów pomiełdzy d?ugos´ciał 44 sekundy a 6 minut. Spore zorganizowane dz´wiełki, u?ozone w formie miniatur muzycznych. Co zadziwia mnie pozytywnie to fakt, z˛e Carrier zgrabnie unika wys´wiechtanego saksofonowego idiomu post-coltranowskiego, ktory czełsto ciałz˛y nad produkcjami, które zawierajał saksofon jako jeden z instrumentów. Co idzie dalej ten idiom jest ?atwo dostełpny instrumentalistom, którzy próbujał transponowac´ duchowos´c´ na muzykeł i wychodzi im to co wychodzi...Carrier natomiast ustawia to w formeł haiku, co robi bardzo udanie.
Naturalnie rozwijajałce sieł historie oparte na organicznym brzmieniu. Dz´wiełk z˛ycia w swojej prawdziwej formie. Piełkny album! Astipalea Records (Felthat)

The Monrteal duo (sax/flute and drums) here offers a first opus on the Portuguese label Creative Sources. A strong free improvisation record from a well-established duo. Very free-jazzy. Carrier’s style is reminiscent of Paul Dunmall, and Lambert is a subtle drummer (as opposed to a manic one). Nada may not be as captivating as their Kathmandu record (their previous one, on FMR), but it’s still a solid effort. Carrier’s improvised melodies can be tender without getting sweet, and urgent with aggressing you. François Couture (Monsieur Délire) "

Nada" duetu Francois Carrier/Michel Lambert to kolejny wyraznie okolo jazzowa dysk w katalogu wytwórni i jednoczesnie trzecia wspólna plyta obu Kanadyjczyków. Dwadziescia utworów w niespelna godzine sugeruje, ze mamy tu do czynienia nie z free jazzowymi eposami, lecz z epigramatami (czas trwania osmiu ledwie nagran przekracza trzy minuty) pisanymi za pomoca saksofonu i perkusji. Kolejna moze nie do konca oryginalna (znów przyblizajac ducha muzyki odsylam, z saksofonistów, do Braxtona, z perkusistów, zas do Barry'ego), ale calkiem udana plyta, której duzych fragmentów slucha sie z zainteresowaniem i nieklamana przyjemnoscia. Tadeusz Kosiek (Diapazon)

Although this is ostensibly a free recording, and it is in fact totally improvised, the palette that the two long-time collaborators are working with here is explicitly tonal and accessible. Carrier has been known as a pretty expansive live player, a direct descendant of St John Coltrane, but here the focus is on compactness and abbreviation. There are twenty tracks total, ranging from a around 45 seconds to as long as six minutes, with most running under two minutes. The idea is to condense the ideas (of which there are many!) as much as possible, a haiku instead of a sonnet. Also, the duo take each new piece as a chance to explore a different angle or texture. The casual listen, however, may not easily show when one improvisation ends and the next one begins, instead sounding like a longer, thematically linked suite. Or something.
Both Carrier and Lambert are stellar, if a little polite. If you're expecting Frank Lowe and Rashied Ali, you'll be taken aback by the gentleness of touch here, as Carrier's nepali flute and soprano playing evokes zen music, not unlike some of Dave Liebman's work. When he switches to alto he tends to get a little more robust, which makes a nice contrast. Lambert's light touch is incredibly refreshing, even as he explores places off the beaten track (both players are credited with their instruments as well as other “objects”). At times, like on “Unknown,” there are snatches of sweet melody, and always the use of space is exquisite. Thankfully, things never get ECM-ish, as I could imagine happening pretty easily with this spacious approach to collective improvisation, instead maintaining an integrity and spiritual approach (like the best ECM discs of course) without falling into the new-agey-ness of the lesser output of that great label. This is very high level music making. Tom Chandler (Jazz Review)

With a title like "Nada" one expects some dire existentialist tale of the abyss, or a somber Hemingway-esque complaint. What we actually get is something more along the lines of the whimsical Shakespearean poetry of Much Ado About Nothing, since alto saxophonist Carrier and his drumming co-creator Lambert offer up some very beautiful, peaceful reflections of the theme the title alludes to.
What this amounts to is music that sounds like it was improvised on the spot — ergo, the "nada" of the title may allude to the nothing that the two musicians start from in their improvising. With lots of sensitivity and attention to the nuances of sound and with two musicians who have been collaborating for at least a decade, telepathic understanding is the modus operandi, and the saxophonist and drummer seem to be creating with one mind.
Carrier is a bit of a maverick in the Montreal scene, not taking part in some of the city's more visible events or venues very often, but that has certainly not prevented him from establishing a reputation here and abroad, and attracting top-flight collaborators like Dewey Redman, Bobo Stenson, and Uri Caine. In this duo setting, Carrier's aesthetic is laid bare and his rich alto sax tone is the heart of the project, with drummer Lambert responding and eliciting in a skillful, sensitive manner.
These twenty pieces sound, all told, like a series of sketches, each with compelling lines and interesting textured effects. Non-representational though the music may be, it evokes moods, as in the calypso-like lightness of "Between Colours," the floating shakuhachi effect of Carrier's flute among the branches of Lambert's percussive sounds in "Background," the jagged accumulations of sax and drums in "Clouds," or the keening sax glissandi and drum bubbling in "Tabula Rasa."
The impression one gets is of eavesdropping on two like-minded musicians who are exploring the world of their sonic imagination and tapping into its redemptive powers. Paul Serralheiro (The Squidco's Ear)

A rare Creative Sources recording where no “official EAI” is implied. This polite duo from 2009 contains entirely improvised sketches between Carrier (alto and soprano saxes, Nepali flute and objects) and Lambert (drums and objects), featuring all the pros and cons of the eternal reed-versus-percussion question. Let’s go straight to the point: writers can quote as many illustrious references as they want and act like the most open-minded evaluators on earth, but a near-full hour of this sort of instrumental swapping – in absence of a harmonic component, and with essentially unvarying palettes – is somewhat problematic to judge when rage or, at the very least, urgency are not present. The musician’s willingness – as in this listener’s case – tries in any way to overcome the excessive coldness of the reviewer’s analysis, finding handles to grab in order to remain hooked to the flux of technical brilliance that both artists warrant. We’re talking people who know their instruments inside and out, so this is not a problem of illiteracy. Quite the contrary: over the course of these 20 brief chapters, a sensation of relative distance – or “lack of vibrancy” if so preferred – unquestionably emerges. Deep emotions are not conveyed, if not in small percentages. We can effortlessly welcome two ever-comprehensible intertwining lines of (certainly sincere) creativity, occasionally slightly disinclined to follow a proper structure. Ultimately, though, Nada is more comparable to a succession of graphically striking designs than a veritable blood-and-guts statement. Sometimes a bit of dirtiness under the nails is appreciable, if you see what I mean. Massimo Ricci (Touching Extremes)