It's hard to imagine that a group as bottom-heavy as percussionist Pierre Favre's new ensemble could actually sound light and ethereal. But Fleuve does just that. With a septet featuring two basses, tuba/serpent, percussion and, at times, bass clarinet, there's no shortage of warmth and depth. But with guitar, harp and soprano saxophone fleshing out the middle and top end, Fleuve manages to have both weight and an airy ambience that works, in no small part, due to Favre's carefully crafted compositions and the kind of sonic transparency that's long been a defining aspect of the ECM aesthetic.
Drummer, composer, arranger, and percussionist extraordinaire Pierre Favre returns to ECM as a leader on this 2007 date with his most recent version of the Pierre Favre Ensemble. As one would expect, this group has a deep bottom end with his own drums, the double bass of Banz Oëster, the bass guitarist Wolfgang Zwiauer, and the tuba and serpent playing of Michel Godard. Middle- to high-end instruments are played by guitarist Philipp Schaufelberger, soprano saxophonist and bass clarinetist Frank Kroll, and harpist Hélène Breschand. ~ AllMusic