Lori Freedman

The music throughout is full of detail and nuance, with interesting interplays of texture and line. Hour, Québec

Her playing is very “soulful” and goes straight to the heart. Vital, Netherlands

For me, the trio is the ideal formation for improvising music. In general, even numbers imply something known, where odd numbers feel open. “2” can create corners that “3” can melt down, transform. “3” is complete, continuous and infinite. Dynamics move stasis. It’s playful.

For 3 consecutive nights I brought together in concert 3 distinct trios, with 6 other Montréal musicians each chosen for their fertile imagination and identifiable musical style. This disc is made primarily from these live encounters recorded during the heatwave of June 2, 3 and 4, 2005 at the Bistro Le Va-et-Vient in Montréal.

Certain musical passages were later re-worked in the studio to “compose” other sonic and textural elements. This latter development was made possible thanks to the magical and mega-inspirational mind of Michel F Côté.

CD (AM 157)

  • Label: Ambiances Magnétiques
  • AM 157
  • 2006
  • UCC 771028115723
  • Total duration: 42:31
  • Sympathique case
  • 126 mm × 126 mm × 5 mm
  • 45 g

On the web

Some recommended items
In the press


Kurt Gottschalk, Signal to Noise, no. 46, June 1, 2007

Montréal’s Ambiances Magnétiques has released some 169 records since 1984 with a pretty remarkable batting record. The original members of the collective (including Jean Derome, René Lussier, Martin Tétreault and Danielle Palardy Roger) have for the most part continued to do challenging work, while younger musicians have been brought into the fold.

Tim Brady is a talented guitarist with a rockish sensibility and plenty of jazz chops. He loves his instrument the way Jasper Johns loves paint: thick and apparent. His 2002 release Twenty Quarter-Inch Jacks was, in that sense, wholly satisfying. As is, in a certain way, his new offering, GO. It’s diverse, it’s raw, it’s pretty, it’s precise. Four compositions of his own and four by others, all strong but as a whole uneven. The disc feels as if Brady is trying to show off many approaches and styles he can pull off. And pull them off he does, so well that it sounds as if it could be a compilation album.

Likewise pianist Gianni Lenoci’s wandering sextet record Sextant. At center, the group is a traditional enough line-up of keyboards, guitar, bass, drum and two saxophones, although the keyboards and guitars are sometimes electronically augmented. Two tracks not penned by Lenoci are Eric Dolphy’s Miss Ann and Morton Feldman’s Intermission VI. Lenoci’s pieces seem to follow the two worlds, skipping between minimalist and jazzy pieces, generally strong tracks, but ultimately seeming to be more a display of diversity than creating a unified feeling.

The same charge could be leveled against clarinetist Lori Freedman’s new CD, culled from three nights of live performances with different trios. The difference here is that the record is exceptional regardless of her motives. A set with guitarist Lussier and turntablist Tétreault is a fascinating, warm rumble. A matchup with saxophonist Derome and guitarist/percussionist Rainer Wiens is strangely moody with touches of spaghetti western. And with percussionist Roger and bassist Nicolas Caloia she explores quiet, extended-improv techniques and jazzier explorations. Despite the different sources, the album holds together surprisingly well.

A different sort of project is presented on the guitar duet by Arthur Bull and Daniel Heïkalo. It’s the sort of bashing-of-minds improv one would expect to find, at this point, in clubs and cafés around the world — busy, sometimes riotously so, and introspective, as if some personal space is being invaded simply by listening. Whereas the other discs ask to be listened to, Bull and Heïkalo seem forever to be changing the subject because a listener walked in.

Dernières chroniques

Grisli, dMute, January 25, 2007

Clarinettiste canadienne accumulant les partenaires (Steve Lacy, Joe McPhee, Ab Baars, Barry Guy, Misha Mengelberg…) comme d’autres collectionnent les médailles, Lori Freedman présente ici des extraits choisis de 3 récents et affables trios.

Aux côtés de René Lussier (guitare électrique) et de Martin Tétreault (turntables), Freedman combine les élans de sa clarinette basse et les perles bruitistes de Tétreault (Skroawng, Seven) ou rivalise avec les postures amusées de Lussier — blues défait sur Spaghetti brûlé, rock nerveux sur The Tribe of Triclops.

Plus atmosphériques, les pièces concoctées en compagnie de Jean Derome (saxophone et objets) et Rainer Wiens (guitare préparée et percussions) dessinent une irrégulière rose des vents (The Light of Night), disposent selon des patrons parallèles des drones de tout essences (Six Degrees), ou cèdent à la nécessité d’un assaut final emporté par la fougue du saxophone et de la clarinette (Tigresse).

Plus conventionnelles, les improvisations menées par Freedman, le contrebassiste Nicolas Caloia et la percussionniste Danielle Palardy Roger, rappellent les enregistrements du Spontaneous Music Ensemble – avec (Chrysalis, Lipsync) ou sans (Babalou, Poussière de lune) véritable conviction. Sorte de retour aux sources improvisées comme moyen de diversifier le propos singulier de Lori Freedman.


Mike Chamberlain, Hour, no. 15:3, January 18, 2007

Clarinettist Lori Freedman is playing some of the bravest music on the local creative music scene. She never takes the easy way out with her improvisations, stepping out on limbs and never show-boating, yet she always manages to bring them back from the point of breakdown to a satisfying resolution. Her latest album, 3, has her in three trios (with, respectively, René Lussier/Martin Tétreault; Nicolas Caloia/Danielle Palardy Roger; Jean Derome/Rainer Wiens) in performances recorded at the Va-et-Vient and remixed in the studio. The music throughout is full of detail and nuance, with interesting interplays of texture and line. (3,5/5)

The music throughout is full of detail and nuance, with interesting interplays of texture and line.


Dionisio Capuano, Blow Up, no. 104, January 1, 2007

Con un senso della misura quasi sospetto, ma efficace, la clarinettista Lori Freedman ritaglia segmenti da tre serate di sessions nel corso delle quali ha interagito con musicisti dell’area “creativa” canadese-internazionale. Ognuno dei sets, in forma di trio, possiede una propria natura, in ragione delle peculiari line-ups. Con i giradischi di Tétreault e la chitarra di Lussier viene imbastito un dialogo aspro ma controllato, quasi no-jazz (the tribe of triclops), con l’appendice di una bella soluzione slacker-impro: locked groove, slide e note lunghe d’ancia (spaghetti brûlé). L’elemento del gioco e dell’assurdo predomina nel ménage assieme a Derome (sax e piccoli oggetti) e Rainer Wiens (chitarra preparata): atmosfere da circo sulfureo (babalou) che tracimano nell’allucinazione quasi informale (poussière de lune). Il contrabbasso di Nicolas Caloia costruisce architetture jazz contaminate (tigresse, six degrees) e, insieme alle percussioni di Danielle Palardy Roger, partecipa a destrutturazioni quasi elettroacustiche (the light of night) tra le quali s’insinua il clarinetto. Momenti scelti ed estrapolati con estrema attenzione che poi l’accorto Michel F Côté, in post-produzione, sporca di bave sonore e tessiture anomale.


Dolf Mulder, Vital, no. 557, December 20, 2006

Freedman is an internationally acclaimed performer who works in many contexts and disciplines: composed and improvised music, electroacoustic music. Collaborations in the field of dance, theatre and so on are many. And many composers wrote works for her as a performer. Her own work is available on numerous cds. Concentrating on Ambiances Magnétiques, this label released a solo album by her some 4 years ago: À un moment donné. Now it’s time for a CD with three different trios by Lori Freedman. During three consecutive nights Freedman played with with three different trios. Why trios? For Freedman this is the ideal format for improvising music. The cds opens with five pieces with René Lussier (guitars), Martin Tétreault (turntables). Followed by 4 pieces with Nicolas Caloia (doublebass) and Danielle Palardy Roger (percussion). To close with 4 improvisations with Jean Derome (saxophone, little objects) and Rainer Wiens (prepared guitar, percussion). In all three trios Lori Freedman plays clarinets. Recordings were made live. Afterwards followed some editing and mixing in the studio with the help of Michel F Côté. What is a clear from the first moment is that Freedman is a very gifted player with a great personal voice. Her playing is very “soulful” and goes straight to the heart. Deeply human and spirited musician. Together with her companions, they create some very enjoyable improvised music. A great CD.

Her playing is very “soulful” and goes straight to the heart.


BLG, Downtown Music Gallery, December 8, 2006

This disc was recorded live over three nights and later reworked in a studio. I’ve caught Lori Freedman some half dozen times of the past few years, playing solo, in duos and doing improv, at Victo, Guelph and also at the Vision Fest. She is an excellent musician, her solo set at Guelph in 2005 was one of the best sets that year. For this fine release, Lori works with three different trios of Quebec’s finest players, each trio quite different in sound. The first trio features our friend René Lussier on guitars and Martin Tétreault on turntables, often without records. There is an odd balance between Rene’s diverse and ever-changing guitar approaches and Martin’s electronic-sounding turntables manipulations. Lori is in the middle, twisting her clarinets into a variety of odd shapes and sounds. At times I am reminded of Zorn’s cartoon music, always changing and using that sly humor behind the unexpected twists and turns. The trio with Jean Derome on sax & objects and Rainer Wiens on prepared guitar is also a strange one. As Rainer plays Frith-like quiet guitar soundscapes, Jean plays his charming, fractured early Zorn-like mouthpiece manipulations. Lori is a good match, also bending her notes a similar way and blending perfectly with her two gifted partners. The third trio features Nicolas Caloia on double bass & Danielle Roger on percussion. I am unfamiliar with Nicolas but I do know Danielle from different disc on AM, as well as seeing her in a duo with Frith last year in Montréal. This trio is the most minimal, slowly weaving their sounds cautiously around one another. Some of these pieces were reworked in the studio, here we find Lori’s snake-like clarinet panning around in the mix, often closely mic’d with careful attention to each sound. This is quite a strong batch of trio improvisations that work together well as a whole connected work.

This is quite a strong batch of trio improvisations…


Glen Hall, Exclaim!, December 8, 2006

Clarinetist/bass clarinetist Lori Freedman puts her ass — her artistic credibility — on the line every time she steps up to record. And Lori Freedman 3 follows its predecessors by capturing music that is intelligent, engaging and daring. LR3 has that weird and delightful quality of having tracks that are hauntingly reminiscent of something we’ve heard before, but know full well we haven’t. This is largely due to Freedman’s depth of musical experience; what she plays has heavy recognisable resonances of new music, free jazz, klezmer and noise. On LR3 she is joined by three sets of duo partners who, between them, cover an encyclopaedia’s worth of musical experience themselves. Guitarist René Lussier and turntablist Martin Tétreault weave atmospheric threads of sound, sometimes Stockhausen-ish etheric, sometimes delta blues palpable, like Spaghetti Brulé. Next up is saxophonist Jean Derome and string shapeshifter Rainer Wiens, whose sibilance proves a stimulating counterfoil to her clarinet’s malleable tone, as on Chrysalis, an outstanding piece of collective listening and creation. Bassist Nicolas Caloia and percussionist Danielle Palardy Roger are minimalist and miniaturist, keeping things quiet, relatively sparse and brief. The restrained roars of Tigresse clocks in at a tad over three minutes. Highly recommended.

Highly recommended.

Discoveries / Pot Pourri

Ken Waxman, The WholeNote, no. 12:4, December 1, 2006

Recorded over three days, 3 showcases three sets of compositions interpreted by three dynamic trios, whose only constant is Montréal-based bass clarinettist Lori Freedman.

Sounding arcing timbres, harsh spit tones, rhythmic tongue slaps, rotund chalumeau vibrations and moist glissandi, Freedman moulds her impressive technique to reflect each situation. However, only two parts of this triple header attain the highest score. Most memorable are her five interchanges with the off-kilter folksiness of René Lussier’s guitar and the pulsating crackles of Martin Tétreault’s turntables; as well as her chamber group-like interplay on four tracks with Nicolas Caloia’s thumping bass and Danielle Palardy Roger’s ever-shifting, understated percussion. Sweeping, twangy vibrations and kazoo-like squeaks from respectively, Rainer Wiens’ prepared guitar and Jean Derome’s alto saxophone upset the triangular game plan though. Too many reed buzzes and trills contrapuntally piled on top of one another relieved only by reverberating strums weaken those four selections.

But two outta three ain’t bad, with the remaining threesomes superlative. Roger’s rattles and inventions plus Caloia’s blunt string-stopping and sawing deftly fuse with Freedman’s vibrated flutter tones to resolve compositions from atonally to connective, horizontal interaction. Most protuberant of the triptych meetings are those with Lussier-Tétreault. With the turntable’s shrill whistles, hissing static and metrical scratches bushing against the guitar’s chromatic snaps and rhythmically complex strums, the mood is definitely POMO. Utilizing this droll interaction, the clarinettist regularly knits the strands together with mellow vibrated pitches which succinctly complete the tripartite musical impulses.


François Couture, AllMusic, December 1, 2006

3 is the number of lineups featured on this album and the number of musicians in each lineup. In June 2005, Lori Freedman played three gigs at the Va-et-vient in Montréal, on three consecutive nights, each night featuring a different trio. All three shows are represented here in the form of short pieces (between one and six minutes) that are probably excerpted from longer improvisations but never sound like so. The first five tracks feature Freedman in the company of guitarist René Lussier and turntablist Martin Tétreault - a treat, as these two have not been heard together on record in a long time. The trio grinds and grits, looking for beauty in the tiniest, bumpiest noises, and occasionally succeeding. The second lineup features Rainer Wiens on prepared guitar and Jean Derome on saxophone (one track) and small objects - birdcalls, toys, etc. Fun interplay develops between Freedman and Derome in Chrysalis; Poussière de lune is dominated by Wiens’ textural drones. The final trio puts Freedman together with bassist Nicolas Caloia and percussionist Danielle Palardy Roger. After the two previous noise-driven sets, this trio sounds slightly more conventional, engaging in eventful yet highly controlled free improvisation. The Light of Night and Tigresse are highlights and this third set as a whole is a better showcase for Freedman’s unique clarinet circumvolutions. If one of these trios should record a full-length album, number 3 is it.