In loving memory of the late Dewey Redman, here featured on tenor sax, Spool releases Open Spaces, a 1999 live set by a peculiar “double reed-double contrabass-drums” quintet. Redman is flanked by François Carrier on alto sax, and throughout the album this couple of forwards plays inspired lines moving from post-Coltranian recollections and invocations to a non-structural, fast-paced quality of atonal phrasing which travels in and around different jazz meanings, but always remains wholly comprehensible. Bassists Donato and Seguin perform their duties maintaining a firm grip on the lyrical aspect, keeping a steady pulse while observing the contrapuntal directions with concentrated serenity and resourceful instrumental command. The excellent Lambert glues the overall keenness of the musicians into a series of percussive frames where both swing and freeform switch-hitting articulations sound like a totally conscious and utterly intelligent decision. Overall, Open Spaces is an album made of cohesion and passion, full of elegance and freedom, luckily devoid of clichés and formulaic posing by the artists. A worthy homage to a great saxophonist.
Massimo Ricci / Touching Extremes Italy / December 2006