with Karl Berger


The Whole Note

Sylvain Leroux–a former Montrealer now based in New York–has studied African music extensively and supplements his standard flute and alto saxophone with an African lute and flutes. On Quatuor Créole (Engine e046), he explores a host of exotic rhythms from Africa and the Caribbean as well as chanting and playing flute simultaneously on pieces like Notis. The emphasis is on dense rhythmic grooves here, with Leroux more likely to play lute than flute. The veteran vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger, Leroux’s former teacher, also solos at length, clearly celebrating the percolating rhythms created by Haitian percussionist Sergo Décius and bassist Matt Pavolka. There’s plenty of world music tonal color here and the grooves are complex and liberating. Leroux also touches on an earlier influence, playing alto saxophone with a raw lyricism on Monk in Paradise. 

—Stuart Broomer, Jazz, eh? October 2012.




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