CODE Quartet is a collective quartet based out of Montreal. Formed four years ago by Christine Jensen on saxophones, Lex French on trumpet, Adrian Vedady on acoustic bass, and Jim Doxas on drums, the group came together with the equal goals of composing and improvising in a chordless-quartet setting.
The primary motivation for the formation of the group has been to build on the freedom of expression pioneered by Ornette Coleman’s seminal group of the 1950s, with two horns interacting with acoustic bass and drums. They prioritize the idea that each voice within the collective is given equal weight, blurring the boundaries between lead and supporting voices, between frontline instruments and the rhythm section.
The group have spent the past three years sculpting their original compositions as a team, leading them to some exciting performance opportunities. Over the past four years, they have performed residencies at jazz clubs in Montreal as well as The Wellington Jazz festival in New Zealand in June 2019.
The group’s principal focus is to present original compositions, orchestrated exclusively for this particular ensemble, weighing heavily on their improvisatory reactions to the written material. The result is their album ‘Genealogy’.
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Neither bogged down nor lost in chaos, CODE Quartet’s expressive sensibility was well tuned. At one point Doxas began
shaking his sheet music as a makeshift drum. You could feel the process occurring in the now, always opening outwards, never
locking itself down.
Both Jensen and French exhibited a virtuosic control of their instrument, powerfully leading the band through energetic rapids
or out across tranquil depths.
Citing themselves as grown out a jazz genealogy, CODE Quartet proved themselves both pure and progressive in their
performance, a superb addition to the festival’s line-up this year