This Montreal-based trio, together since 1984, is a fluent jazz-based ensemble with Michel Coté on saxophones and bass clarinet, Pierre Coté on bass and cello, and Michel Lambert on drums. Michel Coté and Lambert also play maïkotron, a brass-reed hybrid with a saxophone mouthpiece, a combination of valves and keys and multiple bells, with a five-octave range and a host of microtonal possibilities. The pieces are based on Lambert’s paintings, a series of tableaus that evoke northern seafaring, shipwrecks, ice-flows, churches, and traditional votive art. With these multiple and overlapping inspirations, the Maïkotron Unit’s pieces are—like votive paintings—precise miniatures: there are twenty on this CD, ranging from fifty-nine seconds to almost six minutes, with moods from pensive to jaunty. The CD is shaped by two contrasting elements: the Cotés’ ability to generate spontaneous melody—particularly tuneful on the lighter soprano saxophone and pizzicato cello—and the group’s alternative focus on bass frequencies and microtonality. It’s a whimsical and constantly engaging practice that’s somehow continuous with the catastrophes portrayed with such meditative grace in Lambert’s paintings.