Brandon Lopez / Daniel Carter / Colin Fisher / Marc Edwards

March 19, 2020

Living Midnight

Astral Spirits MF211/AS 107

By Ken Waxman

Leaving his guitar back in Toronto, Colin Fisher took his saxophones to New York and recorded this sometimes sage, sometimes savage, trio of exemplary improvisations with three of that city’s most accomplished free players: multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, bassist

Brandon Lopez and drummer Marc Edwards, All four function as if they’ve worked together for years.

With Fisher on alto and tenor saxophones, while Cater roams among clarinet, flute, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, the only disorientation occurs when both play saxophones. But on “Valley Spirit” for instance, the resulting layered reed affirmations create enough elasticized power to counter the rugged polyrhythms of Edwards, who is constantly aggressive, although his distinctive accents and patterns never disrupt the narratives.

Elsewhere Carter’s discursive trumpet flutters, breezy flute tones or fluid clarinet timbres create a calm oasis during the extended tracks, which Fisher joins with breathy lower-case vibrations. Meanwhile Lopez’s sprawling thumps maintain the tunes’ flow, except those times he joins the others for expressive intensity.

Overall, the horn players use chalumeau and clarion registers in double counterpoint to create packed tension or relaxed flow with frequent detours into split tones and irregular vibrations, on “Crescent Moon Furnace” and “Embryonic Breath”. What this means is that Fisher Carter and the others unite to productively vary sequences among light and dark, speedy and frantic and high and low pitches. It also confirms that a Hogtown improviser can easily pull his weight when facing Big Apple challengers.

-for The Whole Note March 2020