Italian trumpeter Falzone set up this Paris session as a one-take adventure, in which a group of players were assembled in a studio, given a quick glance at the charts, and then invited to let the mood of the moment do the rest. They had a head-start with Falzone's material, which suggests Charles Mingus, classic Blue Note hard-bop, Ellingtonesque reveries, the intricate rhythm-pattern music of Steve Coleman, and much more. Not only are the pieces more intuitive as the session goes on, but the expressiveness and idiomatic range of the improvising are just as compelling. Falzone's clean-struck, rhythmically sophisticated trumpet solos are almost psychically read by pianist Bruno Angelini, saxophonist Robin Verheyen operates both as a Michael Brecker-esque flamethrower and a Cool School enigma, and the last track is like Thelonious Monk's Evidence played by a Latin-shuffling Polar Bear.
CD: Giovanni Falzone; Meeting in Paris
John Fordham is the Guardian's main jazz critic. He has written several books on the subject, reported on it for publications including Time Out, Sounds, Wire and Word, and contributed to documentaries for radio and TV. He is a former editor of Time Out, City Limits and Jazz UK, and regularly contributes to BBC Radio 3's Jazz on 3