RT 9303 (1994)

François Houle trio


Francois Houle : clarinets
Tony Wilson : electric guitar
Dylan van der Schyff : percussion

1. Fractus [11:15]
2. Lowest note [5:52]
3. Frustration [9:35]
4. Contemplation [2:12]
5. Persistence [3:41]
6. Strange attractors [6:25]
7. Prayer [6:05]
8. For Clayoquot [9:16]
9. Barscheit [7:54]
10. Cantor dust [5:26]

Composed by François Houle, except
2 composed by Tony Wilson
3 composed by Duke Ellington
4,5,10 composed by Houle, Wilson, van der Schyff

Recorded August 18, 1994


François Couture, All Music Guide

One of Vancouver clarinetist François Houle's first albums, Schizosphere features two of his earliest musical accomplices, guitarist Tony Wilson and drummer Dylan van der Schyff who was only beginning to get noticed outside of his hometown at the time. The set contains five Houle compositions, one from the guitarist, three free improvisations, and a very personal rendition of Duke Ellington's ?Frustration." There is not much left of the original song: Houle focuses on a single phrase turned into an insisting circular leitmotiv. Wilson's ?Lowest Note," here recorded for the first time, has a jazzier, less cluttered feel than the definitive version heard on his CD by the same title (2001, Spool). But the album's highlights are Houle's pieces, particularly ?Fractus" and ?Strange Attractors," both bouncing tunes relying on tutti melodies. The latter is dressed in a fancy Middle-Eastern get-up. Later a pillar of the West Coast avant-garde jazz sound, here the clarinetist limits the chances he takes, remaining for the most part in tonal, melodious jazz (as on his ?Prayer"). But, coming from a classical background, he eschews the usual solo shticks and clichés, delivering a convincing performance, although he had yet to reach his prime.

François Couture, All Music Guide


Visit François Houle's website

articles & photos by Laurence Svirchev

Chasing the Dragon : Vancouver Guitarist Tony Wilson
an article by Josephine Ochej (originaly published in Coda Magazine)