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François Bourassa Quartet  -  Mon Oct 07, 2013  |  08:30 pm
Admission £ 10.00 ( £ 8.00 concessions)
OVER the past few years the international dimension of Jazz North East's programming has spread ever wider, but we've never previously presented a band from Canada. Now we're making good the omission, and what's more we're starting at the very top with the François Bourassa Quartet, generally regarded as the country's finest modern jazz ensemble.

It's a group that developed from the pianist-leader's long established trio (bassist Guy Boisvert has been with him since the start in 1983), with saxophonist André Leroux joining the line-up in the mid-'90s. Bourassa regards this as a significant development: "I think I got more adventurous once I got a quartet . . . André has great energy where I'm more introspective, and his arrival has allowed me to express my love of Coltrane and Wayne Shorter". That's a view with which listeners concur. Praising the group's "high level of artistry," Exclaim magazine described Leroux as "an excellent foil" to the pianist, "capable of delicacy, and rip-your-face-off intensity", while Downbeat has saluted a "robust yet often delicate take on acoustic jazz (recalling) Coltrane's classic quartet one moment and an Ornette Coleman aggregate the next".

Here in Britain most Canadian jazz has been a well kept secret, and it's taken a long time for François Bourassa to undertake his first UK tour . . . but when we lift the curtain on this Lit & Phil gig, we're certain that you'll be glad they finally got here.

This gig has been financially assisted by the Canada Council for the Arts